Vehicle thefts up, drug trafficking down in third-quarter RCMP report

Some crimes took notable spikes and police responded to four per cent more calls in the third quarter of 2015 compared to 2014.

Vehicle thefts up, drug trafficking down in third-quarter RCMP report

Certain crime rates are dipping and some are spiking in Penticton compared to this time last year according to the third-quarter crime report released by the RCMP Thursday.

Penticton RCMP responded to four per cent more calls for service than the third quarter of 2014 with a total of 5,593.

There were a notable decrease in drug trafficking files, down 59 per cent from the same quarter last year. Penticton RCMP generated 47 drug possession files and three trafficking files during the quarter.Thefts of vehicles were up 51 per cent from the same quarter last year, arson is up 47 per cent,  immediate roadside prohibitions were down 45 per cent and instances of mischief were up 56 per cent.

Safe roads tops the priorities list for Penticton police in the report which states “impaired driving continues to be an area of concern.”

A total of 24 immediate, 90-day roadside suspensions were issued, two 24-hour suspensions for drug impairment, six 24-hour suspensions, two refusals to provide a breath sample and six Criminal Code charges relating to impaired driving during the third quarter of 2015.

The report states that Sendero Canyon continues to be “an area of concern through complaints of area residents” including an increase in traffic, speeding, failing to stop at intersections and large truck traffic.

“The traffic section has increased their efforts of monitoring, enforcement and education to facilitate a possible solution to the residents’ concerns,” the report states adding that conversations have been coordinated with city staff to facilitate possible solutions.

Traffic officers investigated or assisted in 200 files within the quarter.

Volunteer initiatives “took off” between July and September of 2015 according to the report which states that 1,113 volunteer hours were recorded including training, administration and feet on the ground. In February 2015 there were approximately 10 volunteers, and after an active recruitment drive as of Sept. 30 the Penticton RCMP have 35 active volunteers logging hours for initiatives like Citizens on Patrol, bike patrols, speed watch and Lock-Out Auto Crime.

There have been no prolific offender management initiatives in a quarter that saw prolific offender Ronald Teneycke lead RCMP on a manhunt through the Oliver area in July.

The report says the two homicide investigations police have undertaken in Penticton in 2015 have sapped resources stating “unfortunately, other programs always suffer when we are forced to prioritize investigative resources. That is simply a reality in modern policing.”

There are still no reported suspects in the murder of Darren Leadbeater who was found dead at the Golden Sands Resort Motel in June while Grace and Pier Robbotti, both charged with the second-degree murder of Roxanne Louie in January, return to court Dec. 16.