For the first time in months, Kelowna RCMP have once again released crime stats for our area and in most categories crime is heading in the right direction.
The crime information was released this week and includes the crime information police obtained between July 14-27, 2014 for Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna.
“We have been really drilling down those numbers after a bit of a spike earlier in the year,” explains Cst. Kris Clark.
“Robberies were quite high earlier in the year, theft from vehicles was quite high but we are slowly bringing those numbers down, even though we are still above the numbers we saw last year.”
The interactive crime map above represents that two week period and includes Kelowna and West Kelowna only, but the total numbers provided below and throughout the story include Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna.
Most notable in this time period was the spike in Break and Enters to Businesses and Shoplifting incidents. During 2013 there were 411 shoplifting incidents, in contrast to this year where so far there are already 439 reported incidents.
“Shoplifting is an emerging issue,” says Clark. “The numbers are fairly similar this year over last year, but just in the last two weeks we saw a fairly dramatic increase above our average range, so that is something we are going to take a look at it with strategies and figure out how to combat that.”
Clark notes that crime tends to be cyclical and there is always periods of time where certain crimes increase and then get better and increase again.
“There will be times where several offences are somewhat dormant and others crop up. You basically have to go after those and the offenders who have a propensity for those particular offences at that time.”
Clark says one big thing to take away from the map is that no neighbourhood is particularly targeted, nor is any neighbourhood entirely safe.
“Really nowhere in Kelowna is immune to crime. So, it is really incumbent upon us as citizens to do everything we can to prevent crime. We are still seeing that 25 per cent of thefts of vehicles are occurring because the keys were left inside the car,” says Clark noting that is an easy fix, lock your car and bring the keys inside.
Break and Enters to Businesses from July 14-20 were at 15 break-ins, three above the average range of 4-12 break-ins per week.
The following week, July 21-27, saw a spike in shoplifters recording 21 incidences, also three above the average range of 12-18 per week.
Over the two week period Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna saw a positive decline in theft from motor vehicles, residential break and enters and robberies. However, the numbers this year are still higher than what they saw last year in the same categories.
Theft of vehicles and theft of bikes remained within the three-year-average.
“We are essentially half way through the year and we are seeing numbers that are higher than last year, but we are drilling those numbers down and it is looking very positive right now,” adds Clark.
Have you noticed a spike of crime in your area? Let us know, send pictures and video to [email protected]