Top Cop: crime by the numbers
Sep 23, 2013 / 4:49 pm
Kelowna's new top cop is encouraged by what he has seen over the first eight months of 2013.
While presenting the detachment's eight month report to City Council Monday, Supt. Nick Romanchuk, stated he was encouraged by the numbers.
Romanchuk says there was a 66% increase in drug offences and a nearly 30% increase in impaired driving numbers for the first eight months in the city compared with the same period last year.
At the same time he says violent crimes are down about 17.5%, property offences are down more than 13% while other criminal code offences are down about 10.5%.
"Overall criminal code offences are down about 13% and to me that's a good thing," Romanchuk told council.
"There are certain statistics I like to see rise - court ordered breaches, drug offences, impaired driving. When those go up these other numbers will go down."
Outside Council Chambers, Romanchuk says it's not about eliminating drugs from the streets or eliminating impaired driving, but getting the message out that police are watching and prepared to act.
"We've been fighting the war on drugs for years and I'm not certain we'll ever eliminate drugs - as a matter of fact I know we won't. As long as we are being proactive, we are being effective, we are going to see those numbers (drug offences and DUIs) increase," says Romanchuk.
"That's what's important to me because if those numbers are decreasing or they are low, to me that means maybe we're not doing our job the best way we can."
He says the figures show the Kelowna detachment is heading in the right direction.
"We need to tweak things a little bit to make sure we have our resources focused toward the right places," says Romanchuk.
Romanchuk, who has been on the job for three weeks, told assembled media members he is pleased with the direction the Kelowna detachment is taking.
He says specific crime reduction teams dedicated at weeding out prolific offenders is essential for the success of the detachment.
Romanchuk says the numbers are showing crime is going down and, with some improvement, those numbers can become even better.
As for moving forward, Romanchuk says one of his focuses will be on gang and organized crime activity within the detachment boundaries.
"You don't have to wander too far in Kelowna to see a gang presence. I'm concerned about that and I'm concerned about what comes along with that," says Romanchuk who adds there was an increased gang presence in the city around Center of Gravity and the August long weekend.
"There were quite a lot of gang members or gang associates we dealt with this year. We had the uniformed gang task force working with us," says Romanchuk.
"It was certainly a concern with the level of gang activity and presence that was here over that weekend."
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