South Okanagan rural crime stats reflect pandemic effect with increase in violent crime | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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South Okanagan rural crime stats reflect pandemic effect with increase in violent crime

An increase in violent crime incidents widespread in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is being blamed on a pandemic effect.
May 10, 2021 - 4:01 PM

Regional crime stat increases in the South Okanagan and Similkameen mirrored those of Penticton in the first quarter of this year.

Penticton RCMP detachment Supt. Brian Hunter told Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board directors last week a ‘pandemic affect’ afflicted the entire region as the detachment recorded an uptick in violent crimes such as uttering threats.

The crimes are considered attributable to citizen’s reactions to public health orders during the pandemic, especially mask wearing.

Supt. Hunter was discussing statistics related to the detachment’s first quarter policing results at a board of directors meeting, May 6.

Violent crime stats were up in every regional municipality except Summerland in the first quarter.

Oddly enough, Keremeos had the most red when it came to violent crime categories, with assault categories up 300 per cent from three incidents last year to 12 in this year’s first quarter.

Sex offences, domestic violence, uttering threats and violent crime categories were all up as well, year over year.

Supt. Hunter also noted an increase in fraud incidents in the rural area, citing a rise in unauthorized transactions and identity theft. Fraud incidents were up in the Penticton rural area, Keremeos and Osoyoos.

Summerland, Princeton and Oliver were the quietest of the detachment’s rural area, with Summerland recording increases in only three categories: break and enter, other, mischief to property and theft from vehicles.

Princeton saw increases in assault, mischief to property, shoplifting and theft from vehicle categories and Oliver saw a rise in uttering threats and mischief to property categories in the first quarter.

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