The Penticton RCMP is currently monitoring over 20 prolific offenders in the community.
Supt. Brian Hunter presented a quarterly statistics report to council on May 3, stating that Penticton’s five most prolific offenders each have an average of 93 contacts with the police.
While not every “police contact” is a criminal offence, Hunter said that well-known suspects engage with law enforcement officers significantly more in Penticton than in other B.C. communities.
Prolific offenders on the Lower Mainland average 57 contacts with the police, 63 per cent fewer than what officers in Penticton have encountered over the last 12 months, he shared with council.
“Ultimately, I feel that many of our prolifics could perhaps use stiffer sentences and more accountability through our judicial system, but that’s not for me to decide,” Hunter said.
The city’s top offender, who’s had 98 encounters with police since April of 2021, has been in custody for two weeks.
“We’re confident this offender is responsible for many of the crimes in our community,” Hunter stated.
“I can tell you that ever since this person has been in custody, our vehicle thefts and robberies have gone down significantly.”
The quarterly report states that auto theft is up by 48 per cent in Penticton.
Overall calls for service from January to March, however, have gone down by seven per cent compared to the first three months of 2021.
Hunter said that Ford F-350 Trucks and Honda Civics are the most targeted vehicles for theft in the community.
“Of the 83 auto thefts (over the last three months), 13 were attempted thefts and 70 were successful,” Hunter stated.
“We’ve recovered 86 per cent of those stolen vehicles.”
The majority of stolen vehicles in Penticton aren’t for resale according to Hunter, but are instead used to commit further crimes.
Identifying and managing prolific offenders is among the RCMP’s top priorities for the rest of 2022 and into 2023, according to Hunter’s report.
Four new RCMP officers were hired last week, in response to the city’s 2022 budget.