Despite COVID-19 pandemic crime in Vernon still up in March - InfoNews

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Despite COVID-19 pandemic crime in Vernon still up in March

May 11, 2020 - 2:00 PM

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic crime in Vernon still increased in March.

Recently released statistics from the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment show crime increased by seven per cent in March, even though businesses closed their doors and people largely stayed home after the B.C. government declared a public health emergency March 17.

Overall crime in the city increased by 10 per cent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.

The report shows that crime in rural Vernon dropped by 35 per cent in March, compared to the same month in 2019. However, the number of reported crimes in rural Vernon is a fraction of that in the city, so numbers are more easily skewed.

In the first quarter of 2020, the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP received 4,632 calls for service within city limits and recorded 1,452 criminal code offences. More than 60 per cent of crime recorded in Vernon is related to property offences.

The report says the detachment dealt with 392 prisoners and forward 425 charges to the B.C. Prosecution Service.

Police in Vernon record 355 files related to the street entrenched population, which accounts for 24 per cent of criminal code offences in Vernon.

The quarterly report shows that police set up 31 road check stops and issued almost 500 tickets in Vernon, Coldstream and the surrounding rural area. In total, 44 impaired drivers taken off the road by way of suspension or charge.

Currently, there are 19 prolific offenders identified for monitoring in the Vernon and the North Okanagan. Seven of these offenders are currently in custody, while 12 are living in the community. The report says these offenders are capable of causing a disproportionate amount of crime in the community.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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