Supt. Ted de Jager, was at Penticton city council this week, delivering his quarterly RCMP report. Steve Kidd/Western News

Supt. Ted de Jager, was at Penticton city council this week, delivering his quarterly RCMP report. Steve Kidd/Western News

Property crime on the rise in South Okanagan

RCMP superintendent says it is a provincial trend

Penticton’s top cop said an increase in property crime is being experienced across the province.

“There is quite a bit of red on there and that is troubling in that it’s a trend throughout the province,” said Supt. Ted De Jager, speaking to Penticton city council Tuesday, noting it’s a trend he has seen in reports from his peers around the province.

Property crime in the region, from Summerland to Osoyoos, has gone up by 10 per cent, according to De Jager, who last reported to council in August.

“The good news is that violent crime has gone down by three per cent,” said De Jager.

Related: RCMP update Penticton city council on crime

Using the recent officer-involved shootings in Kamloops as an example, De Jager said those kinds of violent crimes have to be a priority.

“Those are the kind of things that we really have to target,” said De Jager. “I would say that the police’s first priority is to target violent offenders and crimes against persons. Of course, property is high on our list as well.”

De Jager pointed out that a very prolific and violent offender was recently arrested in Osoyoos, with multiple stolen firearms in a stolen vehicle, which was parked in front of a house he was squatting in. He added that these types of situations don’t just start and end in one community.

“He is just as likely to be in Summerland as he is to be in Osoyoos and he is passing through Penticton, committing crimes as he is going through,” said De Jager. “Those are the types of people we are hoping to target with CSET and also with our targeted enforcement unit.”

This is De Jager’s second quarterly report to council since he took over the detachment in early 2017, renewing the standard established by his predecessors.