Property crime rate falling in Kamloops so far this year: RCMP | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Property crime rate falling in Kamloops so far this year: RCMP

June 08, 2021 - 4:00 PM

The first quarter crime statistics from Kamloops RCMP show property crime has dropped when compared to last year, but offences are still 30% above 2019 reports.

From Jan. 1 to March 31, 2020, there were 1,103 property crime offences — including break and enters, vehicle theft and shoplifting — compared to 799 this year. During the same period in 2019, there were 615 property offences.

Kamloops RCMP, in the first quarter report to the community services committee, attribute a reduction in these property crimes to the use of bait bikes, bait vehicles and targeting prolific offenders by the crime reduction unit.

According to the report, some of the crime reduction unit was moved into general duty patrol last year due to staff shortages, which has been attributed as a symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"As we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic our operations are still being impacted on a daily basis," the report by officer in charge Insp. Jeff Pelley reads. "The collective contribution of the pandemic, homelessness, the opioid crisis, mental health, changes to the judicial process... have influenced the policing service delivery and our community."

Kamloops RCMP have seen a rise in both mental health related calls and Car 40 interventions when compared to 2020. A total of 756 mental health related files were opened in the first quarter of this year, compared to 568 in 2020, and a Car 40 unit intervened in 269 calls in 2021, compared to 95 in the same time last year.

There would have likely been more Car 40 interventions in 2020, but only one Car 40 member was working in the first quarter, according to the report.

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Throughout January to the end of March this year, both Car 40 units were active. Kamloops RCMP also indicated that there has been an increase in the general public specifically requesting Car 40 when making reports.

In the report, Kamloops RCMP narrowed down property crime calls to some city neighbourhoods. These numbers show changes in the North Shore and Valleyview areas. Property crimes in those areas, as reported by Kamloops RCMP, include break and enters, mischief, theft, fraud and vehicle thefts.

On the North Shore, there were 251 property crimes in the first quarter of 2019, which rose sharply the following year to 377. This included 18 vehicle thefts, 174 reported thefts and 14 break and enters.

In 2021, most of those crimes dropped, including shoplifting, fraud and vehicle theft. What has risen, notably, is 173 "mischief" calls, from 130 in 2020.

North Shore property crime was also split to show totals both in the business district and the surrounding area.

Property crime in the North Shore business core rose from 123 in last year's first quarter to 164 this year. Those numbers have nearly doubled 2019's first quarter total of 87. While theft dropped in the business area, mischief rose sharply this year from 40 to 95, and break and enters more than double to 12, compared to just five in the first quarter of 2020.

To the southeast, in Valleyview, property crimes remained largely unchanged compared to the same time last year.

In both 2020 and 2021, there were 122 property crimes reported to police during the first quarter. Those values are still up from just 75 reported throughout the first quarter of 2019.

Go here to read the 2021 first quarter report from Kamloops RCMP.

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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