Threats and assaults up significantly in Kelowna in 2021 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Threats and assaults up significantly in Kelowna in 2021

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna

Annual Kelowna RCMP crime statistics show that assaults and other offences against people were up in 2021, not just over last year but over the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Property crimes, on the other hand, have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, according to a report going to Kelowna city council on Monday, Feb. 28.

“Kelowna is not immune to the trends in persons offences being experienced in other communities across Canada,” the city's top cop RCMP Supt. Kara Triance says in the report.

“These trends are concerning although some were anticipated as they relate to the effect that COVID-19 has had on personal, familial and community conditions and routines. Many of these are complex, entrenched issues, requiring a multi-system response.”

The number of common assaults reported to RCMP climbed to 1,261 in 2021 from 1,159 the year before and 985 in 2019.

Domestic violence cases rose to 884 last year compared to 673 in 2019, uttering threats/harassment went to 802 cases from 460 in 2019 while weapons offences/assaults climbed to 368 from 267 two years ago.

The number of sexual assaults, at 159, was the same in both years.

“(The) alarming increase in drug overdose files included both fatal and non-fatal, increasing the workload and stress/trauma experienced by our frontline police officers,” Supt. Triance said.

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On the property crime front, there were 2,336 thefts from motor vehicles last year, up from 1,164 in 2020 but down from 2,813 in 2019.

Shoplifting was close to 2019 levels at 1,358 last year versus 1,420 in 2019.

“Theft from motor vehicle and shoplifting numbers, although lower than 2019, are rising and result from a small number of prolific offenders for whom access to adequate care or consequences is limited,” Supt. Triance said.

While other property crimes were up from 2020 they, too, were below 2019 levels.

There were 609 business break-ins in 2020, 293 residential break-ins, 521 stolen bikes and 519 stolen vehicles.

“The RCMP’s Community Safety Unit and Investigative Services are collaborating through a pilot project aimed at expanding capacity to address the increase in property-related crimes,” the report states.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2022

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