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Kelowna RCMP note increase in bear spray assaults in 2023

Incidents part of 16 per cent increase in assault causing bodily harm/assault with weapon in 2023
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance. (File photo)

Kelowna RCMP’s top police officer is concerned about the number of assault files her department dealt with in 2023 that involved bear spray.

There were 494 assaults causing bodily harm/assaults with a weapon files in 2023. An increase of 16 per cent over 2022. Of that increase, 28 per cent of files involved bear spray.

“While that might be something you pack when you head out into Glenmore or Kettle Valley, it is not lawful nor is it appropriate to be carrying bear spray for a weapon to be used against a person in the downtown core,” said Supt. Kara Triance.

She noted that the RCMP is working with the city on a strategy to address the concern.

“We’re encouraging the review of policies pertaining to the sale of bear spray as well.”

According to the RCMP’s 2023 year in review, there was an increase in several other person offences including common assault (7 per cent), intimate partner violence (9 per cent), and sex offences (27 per cent).

Robbery files were down 26 per cent last year.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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