Penticton saw a slight increase in crime overall in 2021, driven largely by increases in sexual offences, threats and mischief according to the quarterly report from the Penticton RCMP.
Overall, the number of calls for service for the year ticked up by one per cent, from 17,145 in 2020 to 17,306 in 2021.
Sex offences saw a 16 per cent increase, from 79 cases for the whole year up to 92, with the last quarter of the year seeing a 50 per cent increase.
Cases of uttering threats went up by 30 per cent, from 224 in 2020 to 292 in 2021, and the number of assaults went up by two per cent from 455 to 426.
The only category of violent crime to see a decline in numbers was domestic violence, which dropped by 15 per cent from 2020 (169 to 143).
Violent crimes overall saw a seven per cent increase in 2021 compared to 2020, while property crimes saw a smaller three per cent increase.
The drivers of that increase were cases of mischief to property, and other break and enters. Residential and business break and enters both decreased.
The number of calls that RCMP had to deal with related to mischief and property rose by 39 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020, going from 1,345 calls up to 1,869. The final quarter of the year saw a 57 per cent increase according to the report, with calls increasing from 290 in 2020 up to 454 in 2021.
The increases in mischief calls alone offset many of the reductions seen elsewhere. Thefts from vehicles, for example, dropped 31 per cent, from 825 calls in 2020 to 572 in 2021, and break and enters of businesses dropped 16 per cent, from 200 to 168 calls.
Bicycle thefts decreased by 15 per per cent over 2021, going from 149 to 126, while auto thefts saw only a single fewer call in 2021 with 193 compared to 2020’s 194.
Fraud calls went down seven per cent from 274 to 249, shoplifting went down one per cent from 395 to 392, and residential break and enters went down 20 per cent from 91 to 73 for the year.
Penticton city council approved adding seven new officers to 2022’s budget, with three set to arrive by the spring.
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