Kamloops RCMP says crime prevention unit to be staffed, will focus on prolific offenders

Focus on prolific offenders

Kamloops RCMP will be putting more resources towards dealing with prolific offenders as part of the detachment’s crime reduction strategy, according to a senior member of the detachment.

Insp. Jeff Pelley presented a quarterly report for the City of Kamloops’ community services committee on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The report showed Kamloops RCMP responded to 11,983 total reported files from April to June 2022, a decrease of 1 per cent when compared to the same time period in 2021.

There were 2,492 reported instances of property crime during the second quarter of 2022, a 12 per cent increase when compared to the same time period in 2021.

Pelley said RCMP continue to focus on tackling property crime as well as crimes against persons, which saw a four per cent reduction in reported files when compared to last year.

"We've had a 12 per cent increase in our property crime, and that's where it has become a bit alarming,” Pelley said.

“In line with our crime reduction initiatives and our strategies, our proactive crime reduction unit has been not staffed for the last year. Individuals have been identified, and we're happy to say that we have the first portion of that unit going to be staffed this month, and we're going to be very progressive on the offenders responsible for those drivers and the increases.”

Pelley said a corporal and two constables will be shifting into the unit at the end of September with the strategy of focusing on prolific offenders.

“Prolific offenders are typically involved in a wide variety of crimes that affect our communities. We think that by focusing on these prolific offenders and working with the partners to facilitate offender access to services, again that may address mental health disorders and substance addiction issues, and will continue to reduce crime throughout our area,” Pelley said.

“Again, experience has demonstrated that a small number of criminals are responsible for the majority of some of these drivers going up.”

Pelley said instances of break and enters at businesses have reduced by 3 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2021, while break and enters to residences have reduced by 24 per cent.

Shoplifting has increased by 22 per cent from 2021, and break and enter files at buildings like storage facilities has increased by 63 per cent.

Motor vehicle theft has increased by 9 per cent when compared to 2021.

Pelley said police continue to work with community service officers and through the RCMP’s crime prevention unit to educate the public on how to secure their vehicles.

“We have an onus to also focus on those offenders that continue to drive those crime rates up and that are currently not in our custody, and responsible for contributing to property crime offences, which is our main concern on the increases right now,” Pelley said.

Pelley told the committee it is a challenge to have an individual held in custody for property crime.

He said police try to demonstrate to the courts that certain offenders shouldn’t be released into the community.

“We're collating a number of files to put that case forward, which sometimes often takes months to get in line with a multiple submission, because we are seeing some challenges of offenders being released with quite a lengthy criminal record,” Pelley said.

He said the crime reduction unit will be able to focus on top offenders responsible for these crimes.

Pelley said there are also systems in place to check up on people who have curfews or who are under an electronic monitoring program, and added he meets with Crown counsel regularly with respect to high risk offenders and associated policing strategies.

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