May 30, 2014 - 2:13 PM
KELOWNA – Incidents of domestic violence and other crimes are on the rise in Kelowna, but it’s not because there are more bad guys out there, the good guys are just getting better at catching them, according to RCMP Superintendent Nick Romanchuk.
In his regular report to city council, Kelowna's top cop said the city saw a sharp spike in the number of reported cases of domestic abuse and violent robberies.
“We had a goal of decreasing our criminal case files by ten per cent (this year),” he said. “We’re not going to make that.”
Romanchuk said prolific offenders continue to be a major problem for the city.
Kelowna RCMP arrest, detain or incarcerate five to ten prolific offenders every week.
“Without a doubt prolific offenders are the bread and butter of crime reduction in our community,” he said. “The challenge we’re facing is the sheer volume of offenders that we’re dealing with. Every time we arrest five or ten and take them off the street, there are six or twelve that take their place.”
The city hasn't started off 2014 any better with a very sharp increase in crime during the first several month of this year.
Plus the cops are seeing seeing a new kind of criminal.
RCMP have responded to “quite a large number” of armed robberies committed by youth under the age of 16.
“These are kids that come from very good families that for whatever reason decided they would go out at night and commit violent armed robberies at convenience stores,” Romanchuk told city council. “That’s not something we see on a normal basis.”
Incidents of domestic violence have also increased but Romanchuk said the number is higher than the rest of the country because victims in Kelowna are more comfortable reporting the crime to police.
“We’ve increased the awareness around domestic violence. We’ve made it easier for people to report incidents of domestic violence and I think that’s why we saw our numbers increased by four or five per cent last year,” he said.
Property crime and impaired driving also increased slightly in 2013.
“Crime will always fluctuate,” Romanchuk says. “There will always be peaks and valleys and we’ve gone through a pretty significant peak the last few months.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014