Crime takes a nose dive

Property crime took a free fall in the last quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year according to a report from the city's top cop.

In his quarterly report, Supt. Jim McNamara said hard work by his officers resulted in property crime dropping by almost one-third.

“The fourth quarter of 2017 was very busy in the Vernon North Okanagan as police officers worked hard to achieve a 22.5 per cent decrease in Criminal Code offences and an amazing 30.54 per cent decrease in property crime,” McNamara said in his report.

It is a significant reversal considering property crime had risen by 28 per cent between October and December 2016, over the same period in 2015.

In October 2016, police responded to 90 reports of theft from vehicles, but by October 2017, that number had dropped to 46.

For the final three months of 2016, police responded to almost 200 reports of theft from vehicles, while the same three months last year saw that number fall to 112.

Residential break and enters also took a dramatic downward turn. In December 2016 there were 22 calls, but in December 2017 there were only six.

From October to December 2016, there were a whopping 100 complaints, but a year later police had reduced that number to 38 for the last three months of 2017.

There was an uptick in robberies for the last three months of 2017. From October to December 2016, police were called to just three robberies, but in the last three months of 2017, that number jumped to 15.

However, police arrested one suspect they believed to be linked to more than one robbery.

McNamara said police are also continuing to target specific people or groups suspected of criminal activity, with the result of getting cocaine, heroin and fentanyl off the streets.

“Targeted policing conducted a lengthy investigation of a drug trafficking group, believed to be operated by a Provincial Tactical Enforcement Priority Target, which resulted in the arrest of two persons associated to the group and the seizure of cocaine, methamphetamine and a heroin/fentanyl mix packaged for street-level sale,” McNamara said.

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