Blue Line

City and Kelowna RCMP collaborating to address crime

August 14, 2023  By City of Kelowna

Aug. 1, 2023, Kelowna, B.C. – The City of Kelowna and Kelowna RCMP are reaffirming their commitment to crime reduction and community safety in response to Statistics Canada’s recent release of its annual Crime Severity Index (CSI).

The CSI report released this year, which analyzes data from 2022, ranked the Central Okanagan second in crime overall, ninth in violent crime and first in non-violent crime. Property crime is driving the region’s CSI score. The RCMP reported more than 25 per cent of stolen property is reported unlocked, a reminder that simply locking our doors is a great way to protect our property.

“Crime and safety are among the top priorities of this council,” says Mayor Tom Dyas. “We hear and share the frustration many residents and business owners have about this issue, and we are steadfast in our commitment to addressing crime in Kelowna and building the safest, most vibrant community possible. We have developed a series of programs and resources to address key areas of crime and safety for our community. The 2023 budget provides funding for six new RCMP officers and four Bylaw Services officers. We also approved an ongoing one per cent Public Safety Levy which will ensure we can continue to invest in new crime and safety initiatives as we recognize there is more that needs to be done.”

The Mayor’s Task Force on Crime Reduction, which met for the first time on July 12, is enabling council to better hear from and work with a variety of voices in our community bringing new ideas to ongoing efforts to reduce crime. Additionally, the city has been a leading advocate for greater provincial justice system response to repeat property crime offenders. Advocacy efforts have led to a provincial investigation into repeat offending and a recent tabling of bail reforms against repeat violent offenders by the Federal Minister of Justice.

The Kelowna RCMP uses Statistics Canada data alongside its own expertise and internal data to respond to trends and community needs in a timely manner. The RCMP provides routine reporting and analysis to the public and city council on crime in the community and this data is used to target and reduce specific types of prevalent crime in the community on an ongoing basis. Encouragingly, the RCMP reported a 32.8 per cent drop in cases of business break-and-enter in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Because the CSI is based on 2022 data, these 2023 trends are not reflected in the Statistics Canada release.

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