RCMP fourth quarter reports to be presented to City of Vernon councillors Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (Phil McLachlan - Penticton Western News)

Drug offences double in Vernon’s fourth quarter: RCMP report

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP to present report to city councillors

Drug offences in Vernon are up more than 100 per cent, according to RCMP’s fourth-quarter reports.

In the reports comparing October, November and December in 2018 and 2019, the number of drug offences more than doubled from 59 to 120.

Last quarter saw an 81 per cent spike in drug offences and Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Supt. Shawna Baher told councillors this isn’t a bad thing, but rather evidence illustrating officers’ hard work.

“You see it as an increase, but it shows me my members are working,” Supt. Baher said in November. “Those are files that show we are proactive.”

READ MORE: Drug offences up 81% in Vernon

Theft under $5,000 is up 15.8 per cent from this time last year, increasing by nearly 40 incidents. Theft from vehicles shows a 31.5 per cent increase from 162 to 213.

Meanwhile, RCMP reported break and enters decreased by nearly 40 per cent and multi-vehicle accidents were cut in half compared to last year — from 111 to 50.

The Crime Reduction Unit (Downtown Enforcement) conducted an enhanced downtown sweep over 11 days in October resulting in 106 new police files, 36 street check files, 15 arrest warrants executed, 12 criminal charges submitted to the courts, 43 Provincial violations tickets issued, 30 contacts related to open drug use and 40 more related to trespassing or loitering.

Over the course of the fourth quarter, Crime Reduction executed 84 arrest warrants and recommended 34 charges to Crown counsel, the report reads.

Supt. Baher is to present the fourth quarter report to City of Vernon councillors today at the regular meeting.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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