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

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Mary Clayton testing her ski and avalanche gear. As communications director, Clayton helped create Avalanche Canada into the success it is today. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: It was a men’s world – until Revelstoke’s Mary Clayton broke into it

She helped create Avalanche Canada into the internationally recognized organization it is today

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

A member of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter team pulls a skier who broke her leg at the gorge backcountry area east of Sicamous into the helicopter on Friday March 5. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Search and rescue helicopter helps injured skier out of Shuswap backcountry

The Salmon Arm woman broke her leg, but was helped out of the bush thanks to radio communication.

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read