Break-ins on the upswing in Kelowna - InfoNews

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Break-ins on the upswing in Kelowna

March 14, 2020 - 11:00 AM

There has been a significant increase in the number of break-ins in Kelowna over the last few months, according to an RCMP crime statistics report going to city council on Monday.

“(There have been) multiple business smash and grabs throughout the city targeting electronics which are then used to commit frauds – several occurring per night in late December and early January,” states the report.

There has also been an increase in parkade break and enters targeting vehicles and quick grab items. Compounds have also been targeted for things like generators and other smaller item.

The rest of the report deals with crime stats from 2019.

It details an increase in calls for service of just under one per cent in 2019 versus 2018. There were a total of 60,073 calls in 2019. The increase between 2017 and 2018 was 3.7 per cent.

The two main categories that saw a decrease in calls were traffic incidents dropping about 500 calls to 3,591 and abandoned 911 calls fell by almost 700 to 3,405.

There were 322 incidents filed on a new on-line system where people can record non-emergency crimes.

On the flip side of the crime picture is the single largest category of calls, for theft. It grew by about 500 calls to 5,732 in 2019. Other top categories of calls to the police that saw increases included unwanted persons (3,363 calls in 2019), disturbances (2,965), property (2,665) and suspicious person (2,515).

Year to year comparisons for drug arrests are not included in the report but it does note that more than 100 drug charges resulted from work by the drug Target Team in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Street Level Drug Trafficking Project, which started in May, resulted in 113 charges being laid against 73 people as of Jan. 11, 2020.

On the traffic side of things, there were 342 impaired driving investigations and 582 tickets were issued for distracted driving.

Kelowna RCMP also opened a Child Advocacy Centre in January of this year to work with other social agencies to help children 10 years old and under who are victims of abuse and neglect.

Other programs where police work with other agencies have diverted adults to hospital or other agencies rather than putting them into jail cells.

The Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers received 1,341 tips in 2019 which led to 76 arrests,

There is also a Prolific Offender Monitoring Program that is currently monitoring 39 prolific offenders.

After an investigation into sexual assault files from 2018 and 2019 a new Sex Assault Unit is being set up.

“This team will provide Kelowna Detachment with in-house expertise in sexual assault and investigative best practices, including bias awareness,” the report states. “These members will work closely with community partners such as the Elizabeth Fry Society and Crown Counsel, our Domestic Violence Unit and the new Kelowna Child Advocacy Centre.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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