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Kamloops cops solving fewer crimes

The 2021 Kamloops crime rate was at its highest since 2007, but police are solving crimes at the lowest rate since at least 1998.

Kamloops RCMP took on 13,379 criminal investigations last year, excluding traffic calls, but only 2,537 of those files were closed.

Of those 2,537, just 778 had charges laid by prosecutors, according to Statistics Canada.

READ MORE: Kelowna's crime rate jumps 10% while numbers drop provincewide: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada data shows that while Kamloops RCMP had the most crime reports in last year since 2005, crime is also getting more "severe."

The Crime Severity Index rating for Kamloops, at 135, reached its highest score since 2007.

The index assigns a weight to each crime based on whether convictions bring jail sentences and, if so, for how long.

While all robberies carry the same weight, regardless of severity, something like murder carries a weight 1,000 time higher than cannabis possession, Statistics Canada says.

Compared to Okanagan cities, Kamloops sees less severe crime. Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton all have higher crime severity ratings, with Penticton topping the list.

READ MORE: Penticton most crime ridden city in Thompson-Okanagan and much of B.C.

Along with measuring the seriousness of crimes in a community, Statistics Canada offers a measure of a police detachment's performance, which is called a weighted clearance rate.

Similar to the crime severity index, the weighted clearance rate assigns a higher "weight" to more serious crimes.

The more crimes that are solved, or files cleared, the higher higher the score. More severe crimes, like homicides or an aggravated assault, can contribute a higher score than vandalism or mischief, according to Statistics Canada.

READ MORE: JONESIE: The solution to prolific offenders remains the same but for different reasons

With a score of 18, the weighted clearance rate in Kamloops is lower than its been since Statistics Canada started publishing the data and the first time Kamloops RCMP was scored below 20.

Both non-violent and violent crime files have been cleared at a lower rate than ever before, even dropping by 18% and 36%, respectively, since 2020.

The weighted clearance rate in Kelowna, at 23, is the lowest it's been since 2005.

Tracking a police department's clearance rate and weighted clearance rate is one of the primary methods of rating the detachment's performance, according to the Government of Canada.

Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky was unavailable for an interview to discuss the falling rate at which his detachment is solving crimes.

Go here to see Statistics Canada data on crime severity in B.C.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 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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