Penticton crime dropped under pandemic lockdown, CERB payments - InfoNews

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Penticton crime dropped under pandemic lockdown, CERB payments

Crime was down significantly in Penticton during this year's second quarter, which coincided with efforts to contain COVID-19.
August 04, 2020 - 5:30 PM

The Penticton RCMP’s second quarterly report indicates the city underwent a significant drop in crime while through COVID-19 lockdowns and government-sponsored financial aid programs.

The April to June report shows police calls for service dropped 16 per cent from the second quarter of 2019, down from 4,900 calls to 4,135.

There were other significant crime reductions in the city over the same period last year including auto theft down 58 per cent, from 69 incidents to 29, and business break ins, which fell by 43 per cent from 76 in the second quarter of 2019 to 43 in 2020.

Other crime reductions in the city of note were:

  • break and enter, other, was down 54 per cent from 37 incidents in the same period last year to 17 this year.
  • shoplifting was down 54 per cent; six per cent on the year so far
  • property crime in general was down 24 per cent in the second quarter, three per cent on the year

The only major crime category showing an increase in this quarter over second quarter of 2019 was theft from vehicles, up four per cent in the second quarter over that of 2019.

Violent crimes are down as well with 25 per cent fewer sex offences and a 23 per cent drop in domestic violence, quarter to quarter.

In a Penticton safety and security committee report issued in June, Superintendent Brian Hunter suggested the greatly improved crime figures might be related to homeless and drug addicted who were able to fraudulently obtain CERB funds, using the money to feed their addictions rather than resorting to crime.

Hunter said at the time the next set of statistics in the third quarter should prove "interesting to evaluate."

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