‘We can’t help if you don’t call’ residents told at policing forum - InfoNews

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‘We can’t help if you don’t call’ residents told at policing forum

Approximately 160 people attended the Penticton RCMP detachment's third annual community forum at the Penticton Lakeside Resort tonight, May 14, 2019.
May 15, 2019 - 6:31 AM

PENTICTON - Penticton RCMP met with members of the community in a third annual policing forum at the Penticton Lakeside Resort tonight.

There weren’t any big surprises this evening, May 14, as Superintendent Ted De Jager presented the detachment’s goals to a largely appreciative audience of around 160 people, in addition to discussing upcoming and ongoing initiatives of the department.

De Jager spoke with simple conviction when he told those attending he couldn’t put an officer by each person’s door to prevent theft from vehicles, a major and ongoing problem in the city.

He attempted to hammer home the “9 p.m. routine” of ensuring one’s vehicle’s doors were locked and valuables removed at 9 p.m., as a regular routine.

“It can prevent you from being a victim,” he said, adding he and his wife practised the routine.

De Jager also noted changes to the way police report statistics in the past year means a direct comparison between stats from 2018 and 2019 can no longer be made.

Audience concerns covered a broad spectrum, from asking how much force could be used to stop a thief, to the ongoing questions and comments about homeless and drug addiction issues, to a request for public access to daily police statistics showing where and how many crimes were occurring in the city.

One audience member asked the superintendent to invite the city's judges to the meeting, eliciting applause, while another in attendance told the meeting he wasn’t concerned about drug use, he was concerned about how users were getting the money to buy drugs.

He told De Jager statistics were skewed because “no one calls you anymore," to another round of applause.

De Jager responded with an example of a prolific offender recently caught with an expensive bike which police knew didn’t belong to him, but couldn’t prove it because the owner hadn’t reported it stolen.

“We can’t help if you don’t call,” he said.

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