At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, crime in Vernon actually went up | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, crime in Vernon actually went up

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August 17, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Even though during the early days of the pandemic much of society was closed down, crime in Vernon still managed to increase.

Recently released crime statistics from the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP show that while most people were cooped up in their homes in April crime increased by eight per cent over the same month the year before.

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP second quarter policing report shows that 1,506 crimes were reported in April 2020, an eight per cent increase over April 2019, when 1,389 crimes were reported. Overall crime increased by five per cent in the months of April, May and June compared to the same period in 2019.

While overall crime went up in April, some of the types of crimes committed changed considerably during the height of the pandemic.

Residential break-ins dropped by 63 per cent in April, from 19 to seven, while break-ins involving commercial facilities jumped by 150 per cent, from four to 10. There were 66 cases of theft under $5,000 down by 39 per cent from 108 in April 2019. Not a single case of theft over $5,000 was reported in April.

While the number of reported incidents is far lower than other crimes so the percentage change is more dramatic, the report shows cases of domestic violence increased by 50 per cent in April, with nine incidents reported compared to six in April 2019.

As society started to open up a little more in May and June the crime statistics for those months are far more in line with the same period in 2019.

While the theft of vehicles stayed pretty much on par with the year before, thefts from vehicles dropped significantly over the quarter. The RCMP report shows a 47 decrease in reported thefts from vehicles, with 141 cases down from 265 in the second quarter of 2019.

The number of motor vehicle accidents also dropped throughout the quarter with each month showing a 40 to 50 per cent decrease in accidents.

The RCMP report states the detachment received 5,206 calls for service in the second quarter, of which 1,498 (29 per cent) involved criminal code offences. Of the calls related to criminal matters, 64 per cent were regarding property offences. The report does not show how these figures compare to 2019. The report also states of the 4,893 crime cases recorded, 409 were classed as SEPTA files, an acronym for Street Entrenched Policing Target Analysis.

The report states the RCMP crime statistics are a sample of the 15 most commonly reported crime codes, from more than 700 used by the Canadian police. The RCMP highlight these crimes as they say they have the greatest impact on communities.


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