File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet
File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet

Kelowna leads crime rate

by - Story: 35365

Kelowna's crime rate is higher that any other city in BC with a population over 100,000.

That according to figures released this week by Statistics Canada.

Statistics for 2006 reveal that of the 10 cities in BC with a population over 100,000, Kelowna has the highest crime rate with 13,655 crimes per 100,000 residents.

Surrey was next at 12,071 per 100,000 people.

Kelowna RCMP Constable, Julie Rattee, says she doesn't know what figures were used to come up with the survey results, but acknowledges the Kelowna RCMP Detachment is busy.

"I do know that in 2006 our detachment had 344 call per member as an average and that in itself was the highest in the province," says Rattee.

"When we're looking at our calls for service, our statistics show we do have a high level of calls per member."

The report also indicates Kelowna taxpayers forked out nearly $13.5 million in policing costs in 2006, which equates to $120 per capita.

That is the second lowest figure of the ten cities, behind only Coquitlam at $117 per capita.

Rattee says with an ever increasing population, a summertime population explosion and an increasing number of students coming into town the RCMP are doing the best it can with the resources it has.

"It all comes back to the calls for service per member and I think Kelowna is kind of known for that."

"At the same time, that's part of doing business. Everybody would like to have more time to be pro-active, but we do the best we can with the resources we have."

Statistics also show crime in Kelowna fell 10% from 2005.

Rattee says despite the numbers, people in Kelowna should still feel safe.

"It's important to keep everything in perspective. A lot of people in Kelowna will still tell you this is a great place to live, so I think it's something we work with and continue to work with."

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