Kamloops criminals got busier under pandemic; Okanagan crime went down | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops criminals got busier under pandemic; Okanagan crime went down

Residential break-ins was the only crime category that fell in the region's four largest cities during COVID-19.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
August 28, 2020 - 6:30 AM

Criminals were less active in the Okanagan during COVID-19 but people doing bad things in Kamloops were busier.

Statistics provided to iNFOnews.ca by the RCMP’s E Division show that Kamloops’ crime rate went up by three per cent in the first six months of the year but the rate fell in Kelowna, Penticton and the Vernon.

The most significant difference was business break and enters that almost doubled in Kamloops, to 261 incidents from 132. Such break-ins dropped 30 to 31 per cent in Penticton and Vernon and seven per cent in Kelowna.

Residential break-ins were down in all four cities, from 38 per cent in Kamloops to 13 per cent in Kelowna. It’s the only category of crime to drop in all four cities.

Kamloops also saw a 30 per cent increase in “Break and Enter Other”, along with a seven per cent increase in both auto thefts and assaults.

Image Credit: Submitted/RCMP

The only other category that decreased in Kamloops were theft from motor vehicles that were down 12 per cent.

Kelowna saw a 26 per cent increase in assaults and a nine per cent increase in Break and Enter Other but declines in all other categories, the most significant of which was a 23 per cent drop in auto thefts.

Vernon saw a 31 per cent increase in business break-ins and a five per cent increase in auto thefts but drops in the other property crime categories.

The only property crime category that increased in Penticton – and it was the only city to see an increase – was theft from motor vehicles. That went up eight per cent.

The RCMP did not want to comment on the reasons crime patterns changed but in July, Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter suggested some crimes were down because people with addictions were able to fund their habits through fraudulently-obtained Canada Emergency Response Benefit rather than crime.

READ MORE: Fraudulent CERB claims have lowered crime Penticton RCMP says

Image Credit: Submitted/RCMP

The picture is different when it comes to sexual offences where both Kamloops and Kelowna saw increases.

The most dramatic change was in Kelowna where there was a 29 per cent increase in the first six months of the year. Kamloops’s increase was five per cent.

The number of sexual offences fell in Vernon and Penticton for the same time period. Penticton assaults were down 22 per cent while Vernon was down 21 per cent

Image Credit: Submitted/RCMP

Statistics provided for intimate partner violence were for the four months from March through June.

Again, Kamloops was the only one of the four cities that saw an increase. Those assaults went up 10 per cent from 150 to 165.

Kelowna saw a 10 per cent drop from 206 to 169, Penticton dropped by 19 per cent (63 to 51) and Vernon’s rate was down 5.5 per cent (72 to 68)

For the entire Southeast Division, that stretches from Clinton to Castlegar and the U.S. border, intimate partner violence was down 5.5 per cent from 769 to 727.

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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News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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