After a good start to the year as far as crime statistics go, Vernon has seen an increase in Criminal Code and property offences in the second quarter of 2023.
According to the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s second-quarter policing report, calls for service from April to June this year have stayed roughly the same compared to the same time period last year, but Criminal Code offences have gone up nearly 16 per cent, and property offences have increased nearly 17 per cent.
There were a total of 1,730 criminal code offences this past quarter and 1,019 property offences.
These same crime indicators also saw massive spikes in Falkland, where calls for service are up 116 per cent, Criminal Code offences are up 311 per cent and property offences are up a staggering 450 per cent.
In Armstrong, crime trended downwards in the second quarter. Calls for service were down 5.8 per cent, Criminal Code violations stayed the same, and property offences dropped nearly 24 per cent.
Spallumcheen saw a 12 per cent decline in Criminal Code offences but a 9.5 per cent increase in property crime.
Criminal Code offences in Enderby dropped nearly 20 per cent, but property offences rose nearly 10 per cent.
In Vernon there was an increase in thefts under $5,000. There were 358 files this past quarter compared to 300 in the same quarter of last year, for an increase of 19 per cent. There were also 13 cases of theft over $5,000, compared to just four in last year’s second quarter.
Vehicle thefts in Vernon increased sharply, with 41 this past quarter compared to 27 in the second quarter of 2022 — an increase of 52 per cent.
The policing report highlighted a number of front line policing activities in the quarter. In April, officers responded to a theft in progress on 27th Street in Vernon where the suspect fled in a vehicle. Police located the vehicle, later found to be stolen, only for the suspect to flee again. Police officers in another jurisdiction later found and arrested the 33-year-old man.
Also in April, police arrested a 35-year-old man who was brandishing a large knife on 37th Street.
In May, police responded to a weapons complaint on 34th Street where a man was seen using a 12-inch machete to damage a tree. Police located the 48-year-old suspect and arrested him for mischief.
In June, police were tasked with searching for a suspicious man taking photographs of women and girls on the beach in Coldstream. Police conducted foot patrols but were unable to locate the suspect.
Also in June, the Serious Crimes Unit took over an investigation of a person who died of severe injuries from a fire in the 3,000 block of 27th Street in Vernon. The investigation is ongoing.