July 21, 2016 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - Business break and enters are down but residential theft continues to rise in Penticton and its satellite communities.
Penticton RCMP Superintendent Kevin Hewco presented his quarterly report with respect to policing issues to the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District board Thursday, July 21.
Statistics show a significant rise in residential break-ins for both the City of Penticton and all the Penticton detachment areas.
Business break-ins in the city are down 13 per cent from the second quarter of 2015, but residential break-ins are up 73 per cent, from 45 per cent to 78 per cent over the same period in 2015.
Numbers are similar for the entire Penticton detachment catchment area — which includes Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Penticton Indian Band, West Bench, Apex Penticton rural and Kaleden — with business break and enters down 12 per cent and residential break and enters up 67 per cent.
Hewco speculates thieves may be targeting residences over business due to a perception it’s a lower risk crime, as many businesses now have video surveillance. He also notes people returning to their summer residences may just now be discovering break and enters that occurred over the winter.
Calls for service in the Penticton detachment are up by 4.9 per cent from the same time last year, from 4,694 calls for service last year to 4,926 calls this year.
Criminal code files increased 10.9 per cent, from 1,151 in 2015 to 1,276 this year. That statistic suggests to Hewco more serious crimes are being committed.
He says the detachment’s new Targetted Enforcement Team has been having “a lot of success putting heat on property crime suspects, but there is still work to be done.”
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