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Vernon crime dropped 20% this summer: report

November 02, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Recent crime statistics released by Vernon North Okanagan RCMP show crime in Vernon dropped significantly over the summer months compared with the previous year.

The Vernon RCMP report shows criminal code offences dropped by 21 per cent in the months July, August, and September, compared to the same period in 2019.

The third-quarter report shows that almost 300 fewer criminal code offences took place this summer with 1,502 criminal code offences compared to 1,891 in the same period in 2019.

The number of calls received dropped 12 per cent, to 5,537 this summer compared to 6,270 in the same period in 2019.

The month of August shows the most dramatic drop, with substantial reductions in the majority of commonly reported crimes. The report uses a sample of the 15 most common crimes which have the greatest impact on communities.

The report shows a 59 per cent decrease in residential break-ins during the third period of 2020, with 16 reported break-ins compared to 39 in the same period in 2019. Commercial break-ins also dropped 54 per cent, with 16 incidents taking place, compared to 35 in July, August, and September 2019.

Thefts from vehicles declined in this quarter by 33 per cent, with 132 incidents compared to 197 during the same quarter in 2019. Vehicle theft dropped to 23 incidents from 33 in 2019 – a 30 per cent reduction.

Theft of goods under $5,000 – which often evolves a large number of shoplifting cases – dropped by 32 per cent, with 237 offences reported down from 348 in 2019.

Drug offences also saw a 22 per cent reduction with 120 cases down from 154 during the summer of summer 2019.

The number of files concerning the Street Entrenched Policing Target Analysis (SEPTA) saw a 53 per cent reduction.

However, not every criminal offence saw a reduction this quarter.

Cases of domestic violence stayed much the same with 26 cases being reported throughout the quarter, compared to 28 cases in 2019. Sex offences also dropped with 21 cases reported in this quarter, down from 30 cases in the same period in 2019.

The report comes just days after Statistics Canada ranked Vernon number 23 out of 324 cities with more than 10,000 residents in its 2019 Crime Severity Index. Penticton sat at number 10, Kelowna at 33, and Kamloops at 45.

The Vernon RCMP report shows a nine per cent increase in the number of self-generated calls – police responses which have not originated from public 911 calls.

While crime does appear to have dropped this summer impaired driving offences saw a slight increase to 44 from 41, a seven per cent increase, and 24-hour driving suspensions stayed largely the same.

The number of motor vehicle accidents increased sharply by 62 per cent, with 102 incidents this summer compared to 63 in 2019.

The report also says that 19 people have been identified as prolific offenders and therefore are capable of causing a disproportionate amount of crime. Of the 19 people identified only six are currently in custody.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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