Western News file photo Supt. Ted de Jager said break and enters and auto theft are up across the board in the Regional District South Okanagan Similkameen. Western News file photo

South Okanagan-Similkameen property crime increases

RCMP superintendent says rise in property crime is a provincial trend

Supt. Ted De Jager says an increase in property-related crimes is a disturbing trend across the province.

Break and enters and auto theft are up across the board in the Regional District South Okanagan-Similkameen with B&E-other (outbuildings and the like) up by 35 per cent year-to-date compared to the same period last year.

B&Es to businesses were down 18 per cent year-to-date, but jumped 93 per cent — from 44 in Q2 to 85 in the current quarter. De Jager said the increase in property crimes is troubling, auto theft in particular for Penticton. That increased 16 per cent regionally compared to the same quarter last year but jumped 28 per cent in Penticton.

“Property crime remains quite a large slice and we really want to focus on reducing that. It is probably a good quarter of the chart. That is something that is going to be part of our business plan for the next three years is to knock that down by at least 15 to 25 per cent,” said De Jager. “That is a big number, but a lot of that has to do with education and security.”

The better news for Penticton, according to De Jager, is a 28 per cent drop in domestic violence, and a 15 per cent drop in violent crime overall.

“When we talk about community safety, that’s a better actual measure, a better indicator of the reality of safety than some of the things we see that tend to get a lot of note,” said De Jager.

“That doesn’t mean that people that are complaining about some of our social, chronic issues are wrong. They are right, those are things we need to address.”

Auto theft, De Jager said, is an entirely preventable crime through an ignition cutoff device, or a physical barrier or putting the car in a garage. He pointed out that the cost of an ignition kill switch is less than the insurance deductible after having your car stolen.

“That is the type of education we want to get out to people,” said De Jager, delivering his quarterly report to Penticton city council.

He also introduced Cpl. Laurie Rock, who will be heading up the new Community Support and Enforcement Team (CSET), adding that a mental health officer has also been selected for the team, and they plan to create a youth officer position as well.

De Jager’s report showed a significant increase for the B&E Other category, sheds and outbuildings rather than main residences. Across the region, that is up by 35 per cent and 65 per cent in Penticton year-to-date. He said that is a common trend in the summer when most residences are occupied. Offenders target items like paddle boards, lawnmowers, ATVs and tools.

“We would consider those crimes of opportunity,” said De Jager. “That is going to be a big part of Laurie’s educational piece for the community is how do you defend against that, when you are trying to use those items in your day-to-day life.”

As he did in his last report, De Jager pointed out that about 50 per cent of the calls RCMP attend are non-chargeable, things like false or abandoned 911 calls or false alarms.

“We will go to false alarms, because we have to be sure that nothing has occurred, however, it would be better if we could prevent the false part of those alarms in the first place,” said De Jager. “That remains one of our primary concerns.”

Just Posted

Penticton students take aim at bullying with Be Kind initiative

The initiative aims to replace Anti-Bullying Day with year-round activities.

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in Penticton business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in Penticton carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Festival of all things spicy kicks off in the Similkameen

Organizers say Sizzle keeps getting bigger and bigger

RDOS to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Climate protesters temporarily shut down road in downtown Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Most Read