Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)

Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

In response to news that Kelowna has Canada’s fastest-growing crime rate, as well as the most opioid offences per-capita, RCMP are assuring the public the city is a safe place.

Data from 2019 released today by Statistics Canada shows that Kelowna’s crime rate is growing faster than any other city with more than 100,000 people across the country.

Kelowna also placed fourth among census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in the country on the Crime Severity Index at 121.4 — a more than 20 point increase from last year’s 101.1.

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance stressed in an email tonight that, “Kelowna and the surrounding communities remain extremely safe.”

The Kelowna CMA includes the City of Kelowna, rural Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country.

READ MORE: Kelowna has Canada’s fastest-growing crime rate, most opioid offences per-capita

The superintendent said the spike in crime rate could be a result of many things.

Pointing to the fourth overall ranking, she said a number of things affect this, including size of the community, a change in how crime is reported, and new programs addressing property crime.

She attributed Kelowna’s small size, as well as the many non-violent crimes of opportunity, such as property crime from vehicles, yards, or open garages, as a ‘key driver’ behind the increased numbers. Triance also said Kelowna’s ‘small population and very proactive RCMP detachments’ affects the number of reported crimes.

“It is the non-violent crime that appears to have adversely affected our ranking,” she said, adding that Kelowna’s CMA is ranked 14th in violent crime.

Triance said one or two prolific offenders who commit crimes like this, “can have a dramatic effect on the region’s crime statistics.”

In addition, a newly-implemented training strategy to standardize reporting throughout the province was implemented last year, something that was projected at the time to increase crime rate numbers.

That being said, RCMP in Kelowna have been monitoring these numbers, and say it has resulted in a number of changes and improvements to police services here.

These include focusing more on community partnerships with health organizations, outreach groups and social service agents, to address housing, mental health and poverty.

Also, six new officers in the community safety unit were hired, putting more uniformed officers downtown Kelowna and in Rutland. Patrols have been increased on Friday and Saturday nights.

RCMP have also focused more on their investigative support teams, which they say in turn helps frontline officers tackle complex, serious investigations.

A new online crime reporting tool has also been launched for locals to use.

“It is our belief that these changes better allow us to serve our community in the region and help disrupt criminals that may be in the area,” said Triance.

The superintendent added they will be reviewing these new statistics to determine how they can actively reduce and prevent crimes of opportunity, and ultimately reduce the regions’ crime severity rating going forward.

READ MORE: Dozens of police take down man by Kelowna General Hospital

READ MORE: Four positive COVID-19 cases at Okanagan Men’s Centre

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CrimeKelownaRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kate Pauling selling her cookies. (Contributed)
Kelowna newspaper carrier spreads joy to children in need

Kate Pauling fund-raises for Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Boxes

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

Highway 5 southbound lanes are closed near Exit 286. Pictured are southbound lanes at 7:06 p.m. (DriveBC)
Coquihalla Highway southbound lanes closed due to vehicle incident

Southbound lanes closed between Exit 286: Merritt and the start of Hwy 5

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Garage on Lakeshore Road burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

An empty learning space at Kelowna’s Canyon Falls Middle School prior to the school’s opening in fall 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Canyon Falls Middle School

This is the first case of COVID-19 being reported at Canyon Falls Middle School

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A major reconstruction project on 32nd Avenue is nearing completion and the road is now re-opened to traffic between 33rd Street and 35th Street. (City of Vernon photo)
ROAD REPORT: More roundabouts coming to North Okanagan

New intersection lights up Dec. 13, 30th Street paving delayed, PV Road completed in Vernon

Most Read