Despite a spike in property crime at the start of 2020, the Kelowna RCMP is reporting a decline since early March.
In a quarterly report prepared for Kelowna City Council by Supt. Brent Mundle, he said the decline could be contributed to COVID-19 restrictions as well as the arrest of a small group of property offenders.
Person-to-person crimes, such as assault, also trended higher in the earlier part of the year compared to 2019.
“Numbers are currently returning to rates comparable with the previous year,” Supt. Mundle said. “An increase in assault files has been noted within the greater RCMP Southeast District year to date.”
RCMP had to adjust how they conduct themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic to better manage situations in the current environment. Changes were also implemented in the new foot patrol team, consisting of two officers, that was established in October.
The foot patrol team, which operates in downtown, Rutland, Pandosy and other business districts in the city will be expanded four officers following the approval of the 2020 budget.
“Enhanced policing shifts will be continuing three evenings a week in the downtown. These will assist in ensuring a visible police presence during the expanded retail and hospitality services offered on Bernard Avenue this summer,” said Supt. Mundle.
Search warrants executed
Since March, the community safety unit executed search warrants at five residences located in the downtown, Rutland and Lower Mission neighbourhoods. According to Supt. Mundle, police seized drugs, firearms and stolen property, including bicycles from the investigations.
The traffic services unit conducted 54 impaired driving investigations from March 1 to June 1. In this same period, 571 tickets and 309 warnings were issued.
The Police and Crisis Team (PACT) were involved in 85 interventions or consultations in March, 121 in April and 107 May.
Supt. Mundle will present the report to city council on Monday.
It may be the last council meeting Supt. Mundle is involved in after announcing his transfer to a position within the Southeast District Senior Management Team.