Property crime is on the rise in Kelowna, according to City of Kelowna director of community safety Darren Caul.
During a presentation to Rutland Resident’s Association members on Monday, March 9, Caul said there were multiple reasons for why property crime has increased in the city.
“I suspect it (property crime) has gone up over the last three years,” he explained. “A big population increase, impacts from the post-opioid crisis, mental health and addiction issues, and homelessness are all contributing to our property crime in Kelowna.”
Caul said shoplifting, mischief and auto crime have been some of the most reported types of property crime by Kelowna residents.
Of all reported crimes in Kelowna, Caul said approximately 66 per cent of them have been attributed to property crime.
During the presentation, Caul said a community court could help to reduce the number of property crimes committed in Kelowna.
“The idea here is that people go before a judge and there’s a case management approach with Treatment Services, Interior Health and a Crown prosecutor,” he stated. “They could then come up with a sentence that’s much more rehabilitative for someone.”
Moving forward, Caul said he will also be expanding a crime prevention program to all new supportive housing projects in Kelowna moving forward.
Caul said approximately 60,000 files were also opened up by Kelowna RCMP in 2019.
Approximately fifty people attended Caul’s presentation.