Crime in Kelowna dropped during COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Crime in Kelowna dropped during COVID-19

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle
June 18, 2020 - 5:16 PM

While this year started off with a higher rate of crime in Kelowna than in each of the past two years, that rate dropped significantly once the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.

A report from Kelowna RCMP going to city council on Monday shows that calls for service for the first five months of the year were actually up over the previous two years, hitting 23,150 for the period, up about 250 over last year and 800 over 2018.

But, a chart in the report shows a significant drop after the middle of March. There were about 4,700 calls in May of this year versus almost 5,500 in both of the previous two years.

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

“Early this year we observed an increase in property related crime compared to previous year comparisons,” the report states. “The decline in offences commenced in early March. It is believed that this is a result of the apprehension of a small group of property offenders who were very active in the early part of the year. It is also felt that COVID-19 restrictions imposed in March contributed to the decrease.”

Theft and unwanted person calls were the two most common calls this year, each accounting for about 1,700 calls.

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

“Persons crimes, primarily in the area of common assault, also trended higher in the early part of this year compared to the previous year,” the report states. “Numbers are currently returning to rates comparable with the previous year. This area will be carefully monitored as the year progresses. An increase in assault files has been noted within the greater RCMP Southeast District year to date.”

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

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