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Crime #'s please top cop

Kelowna's top cop is pleased to see Kelowna is no longer the crime capital of Canada.

Numbers released by Statistics Canada Wednesday show crime in the Kelowna metropolitan area has fallen 13 per cent to 7,680 police reported crimes per 100,000 population.

That put the metro area (Peachland to Oyama) third behind Regina and Saskatoon.

Romanchuk, who took over the Kelowna detachment a year ago faced the Kelowna media for the first time when last year's crime numbers were released.

"It was my goal that we would never be mentioned in a Stats Canada report as having the highest crime rate again. We feel very satisfied we have dropped to number three," says Romanchuk.

"That may not seem like a huge decrease but considering there are only 33 census metropolitan areas and others have shown fairly significant decreases - we're quite proud of those results."

Romanchuk further stated Kelowna proper is 41st in Canada, below the national average of 5,190 reported crimes per 100,000 population.

While the crime rate may seem high, Romanchuk says high crime numbers in certain categories can be positive rather than negative.

One of those is court ordered breaches.

"When somebody is bound by a court ordered condition and they breach those conditions we need to be there and we need to arrest them and take them out of the community before they have an opportunity to commit more crimes," says Romanchuk.

"I like to see drug charges go up too because that means we are charging those people that tend to cause harm to our community in terms of increasing crime rate."

He says when those two numbers go up, other crimes such as robbery and break and enter tend to go down.

As for 2014, Romanchuk says after a rough start crime numbers are again trending down.

"I'm not too concerned about it but it's something we are aware of and something we are working hard to address."

He adds the mandate at the Kelowna detachment is to work smarter, not harder.

Some changes have been made to help facilitate that philosophy.

"We have changed our crime reduction strategy somewhat over the last year. It's more research based, it's intelligence driven and there is a very big accountability factor as well."

He says people are expected to produce in the areas where the best results can be achieved.




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