The Kelowna RCMP quarterly replace exhibits that elevated crime could also be linked to “pandemic social welfare impacts”
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance provided the city council with an update on public safety and crime data and the department’s strategic plan for 2021-2024.
Sup. Triance stated that the strategic plan’s goals are to increase the feeling of security in public spaces, reduce the risk of property crimes, gain the confidence of citizens who have witnessed crimes and officials who are at their best for every citizen , include.
According to the report, most police services saw a decline in property crime due to the pandemic, but with fewer people staying home in 2021, property crime is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Some of the ways Kelowna RCMP is working to increase security in public places include the Prohibited Patronage Program, Pedestrian and Bicycle Patrols, Traffic Monitoring, and the Community Security Unit.
Kelowna RCMP has also put in place a number of initiatives to help reduce the risk of property crime, including an online crime reporting tool, the 9pm routine, a target team, and security guards.
Ways for the RCMP to gain citizen trust include working with UBCO and Okanagan College, hiring officials familiar with temporary foreign workers, and helping the Child Advocacy Center.
Education and training on Indigenous and LGBTQ + communities and signing a letter of intent with the West Bank First Nation are some of the ways officials work to “do the best for every citizen”.
Sup. Triancea’s report also presented data from April to June (second quarter) and July to September (third quarter) between 2019 and 2021, suggesting:
Property crimes such as break-ins and immigration increased in the third quarter but remained below pre-2019 levels.
Residential breaks and admissions for Q2 – Q3 in 2021 are 12% lower than in 2019.
Commercial breaks and admissions for Q2 – Q3 in 2021 are 8% lower than in 2019.
Property crime data shows that there is an increased need for officers on the streets, but it also reiterates the encouragement of local residents to keep reporting these crimes as it helps build case files, especially against repeat offenders.
There has also been an increase in personal crimes including emergency calling, assault, domestic violence and outright threat / harassment that can be traced back to “pandemic social welfare impacts”.
The report also shows that from April to September 2019 there were 17 calls for non-fatal and seven fatal overdoses.
During the same period in 2021, there were 44 calls for non-fatal overdoses and 15 for fatal overdoses.
In 2019, there were 1,476 service calls with a mental health component from April to September, compared to 1,644 service calls in the same half-year in 2021.
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