Kelowna RCMP analysts have dug deeper into Statistics Canada numbers that show that the Central Okanagan had the second-highest Crime Severity Index (CSI) in the country in 2022.
“However, our score has only changed 5.2 points (4.2 per cent),” RCMP Superintendent Kara Triance explained at a news conference Friday (July 28).
The national average is 4.27 per cent, and Triance added that several communities across Canada experienced far greater increases.
“Including Winnipeg at 20 per cent, St. John’s Newfoundland at 19 per cent, Toronto 14 per cent and Ottawa-Gatineau at 13 per cent.”
Winnipeg also had the highest CSI nationally.
Crime statistics for the Kelowna Metropolitan Area (CMA) are drawn from Lake Country to Peachland. Triance said break and enter, fraud, theft, and shoplifting combined for 40 per cent of the 2022 CSI.
“We are tracking police-reported crime daily and using data to deploy resources and target locations,” she said.
Triance added that her officers also continue to target repeat offenders, and have increased police visibility in communities.
The superintendent also gave updated crime stats to date for 2023.
“As of yesterday, in Kelowna’s CMA, fraud is up 54 per cent. This remains our top 2023 driver.”
Shoplifting was up earlier in the year but has dropped by one per cent, while break and enter is down 38 per cent. Theft from vehicles has dropped 33 per cent, and theft other is down 20 per cent.
“We will not wait for the CSI to be released in 2023 to tell us what’s influencing crime in our community,” added Triance. “We will continue to be proactive and data-led to reduce and prevent criminality in our region.”
Triance added there was also a 33 per cent increase in reports to the RCMP online reporting tool.
“We have a phenomenal team of intelligence analysts that use that information to make sure we are deploying in the right areas and we’ve seen a lot of successes from that this year.”