KAMLOOPS - RCMP in Kamloops are repeating a stern reminder to vehicle owners in the city – lock your doors.
Property crime in the last quarter of 2016 saw an increase of 11 per cent compared to the same time period in 2015 and in a police committee meeting today, Jan. 30, Supt. Brad Mueller said the increase was largely driven by theft from motor vehicles.
“It’s truly a crime of opportunity and it’s something we need to continue to focus on," Mueller said.
Compared to the last three months of 2015, there was a 40 per cent increase in thefts from motor vehicles in the same time period in 2016.
"Some of the increases in property crime are being driven by drug activity," Mueller said. "Certainly that's consistent with what we see from a certain segment of vulnerable people in the community that are looking to support a drug lifestyle."
There has been a significant decrease in break and enters throughout the city, Mueller said. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, there was a decrease of 43 per cent in break and enters.
In the final quarter of 2016, there was a 10 per cent decrease in property crime compared to the previous three months. The Kamloops RCMP's quarterly report says this was alrgely due to pro-active work by police officers.
Police also use the "CompStat Management Tool" which identifies emerging trends in property crime and helps coordinate the detachment's response to the problem. The Criminal Intelligence Unit has identified these places as "hot zones." The hot zones point out problem residences, problem people and vehicles associated to crime trends.
RCMP are still implementing the bait car and bait bike programs in the city.
"The bait programs typically see reduced success in winter months, as offenders are often wearing head and face coverings which make identity difficult to establish," the report said.
In the last quarter of 2016, there were eight bait car activations in the city, with two of those leading to charges being laid. Although the bait bike program was temporarily halted due to snowy and icy roads, two activations were recorded with one leading to an arrest.
The Forensic Identification Services had success with linking fingerprints to offenders, even though criminals typically wear gloves while offending during the winter months. In the last quarter of 2016, nine people were linked to stolen vehicles, three to break and enter scenes, two to thefts from motor vehicles and two to scenes associated with drug trafficking and production.
Mueller also spoke about an open house in Brocklehurst where residents voiced their concerns about property crime. He would like to see more community engagement when it comes to crime reduction.
"I think the big component... is reporting crimes," Mueller said. "We need to know what's happening in our community, because what we do then is we get that information, our crime analysts analyze it and then we make decisions in terms of where we will respond and how we will dedicate our resources to those areas."
To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.