Western News file photo                                Supt. Ted de Jager said break and enters and auto theft are up across the board in the Regional District South Okanagan Similkameen. Western News file photo

Western News file photo Supt. Ted de Jager said break and enters and auto theft are up across the board in the Regional District South Okanagan Similkameen. Western News file photo

South Okanagan-Similkameen property crime increases

RCMP superintendent says rise in property crime is a provincial trend

Supt. Ted De Jager says an increase in property-related crimes is a disturbing trend across the province.

Break and enters and auto theft are up across the board in the Regional District South Okanagan-Similkameen with B&E-other (outbuildings and the like) up by 35 per cent year-to-date compared to the same period last year.

B&Es to businesses were down 18 per cent year-to-date, but jumped 93 per cent — from 44 in Q2 to 85 in the current quarter. De Jager said the increase in property crimes is troubling, auto theft in particular for Penticton. That increased 16 per cent regionally compared to the same quarter last year but jumped 28 per cent in Penticton.

“Property crime remains quite a large slice and we really want to focus on reducing that. It is probably a good quarter of the chart. That is something that is going to be part of our business plan for the next three years is to knock that down by at least 15 to 25 per cent,” said De Jager. “That is a big number, but a lot of that has to do with education and security.”

The better news for Penticton, according to De Jager, is a 28 per cent drop in domestic violence, and a 15 per cent drop in violent crime overall.

“When we talk about community safety, that’s a better actual measure, a better indicator of the reality of safety than some of the things we see that tend to get a lot of note,” said De Jager.

“That doesn’t mean that people that are complaining about some of our social, chronic issues are wrong. They are right, those are things we need to address.”

Auto theft, De Jager said, is an entirely preventable crime through an ignition cutoff device, or a physical barrier or putting the car in a garage. He pointed out that the cost of an ignition kill switch is less than the insurance deductible after having your car stolen.

“That is the type of education we want to get out to people,” said De Jager, delivering his quarterly report to Penticton city council.

He also introduced Cpl. Laurie Rock, who will be heading up the new Community Support and Enforcement Team (CSET), adding that a mental health officer has also been selected for the team, and they plan to create a youth officer position as well.

De Jager’s report showed a significant increase for the B&E Other category, sheds and outbuildings rather than main residences. Across the region, that is up by 35 per cent and 65 per cent in Penticton year-to-date. He said that is a common trend in the summer when most residences are occupied. Offenders target items like paddle boards, lawnmowers, ATVs and tools.

“We would consider those crimes of opportunity,” said De Jager. “That is going to be a big part of Laurie’s educational piece for the community is how do you defend against that, when you are trying to use those items in your day-to-day life.”

As he did in his last report, De Jager pointed out that about 50 per cent of the calls RCMP attend are non-chargeable, things like false or abandoned 911 calls or false alarms.

“We will go to false alarms, because we have to be sure that nothing has occurred, however, it would be better if we could prevent the false part of those alarms in the first place,” said De Jager. “That remains one of our primary concerns.”

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read