Year-end report shows hike in violent crime

Year-end report shows hike in violent crime

Superintendent Ted De Jager is giving kudos to the Oliver RCMP for the work they are doing in the community. He is shown here at a media conference in Penticton with Cst. James Grandy. (File photo)

Lyonel Doherty
Oliver Chronicle

A year-end statistical report from January to December 2018 shows violent crime against persons in Oliver (correctional centre only) increased 230 per cent.

The report shows 20 incidents in 2017, compared to 66 in 2018.

In Oliver alone, violent crimes against persons increased 93 per cent (from 89 to 172). Domestic violence is also up 50 per cent, from 12 to 18).

Theft from vehicles also increased by 97 per cent (from 75 incidents to 148).

Property crime in Oliver increased 23 per cent (from 536 incidents in 2017 to 658 last year).

Mental Health Act incidents increased 14 per cent (from 129 to 147), and residential break-ins increased nearly 20 per cent (from 31 to 37). Auto theft increased by seven percent (from 75 to 80).

The only decrease (18 per cent) is seen in business break-ins (from 33 to 27).

The top 10 calls for service in Oliver last year were: assist police/fire/ambulance (361), traffic incident (334), abandoned 9-1-1 (318), theft (277), assault (209), alarm (169), suspicious circumstances (159), disturbance (144), assist general public (132) and property (131).

The total calls for service in Oliver was 4,530, with 124 charges forwarded to the Crown.

Under traffic enforcement, there were 11 immediate (90-day) roadside suspensions in Oliver for impaired driving.

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RCMP gave 43 talks to school children in Oliver last year, and held 45 community events. There was one restorative justice program carried out, and 53 referrals for victim services.

Under major investigations, there were two homicides in rural Oliver in 2018, however, no information on charges has been released.

Police also investigated an Oliver man in the high profile murder of a Belgium tourist.

The year-end report also mentioned investigations on an attempted murder in Oliver and “suspicious death files” in the community.

RCMP Superintendent Ted de Jager said the Community Active Support Table (CAST) will expand in the region this spring, covering the entire South Okanagan-Similkameen. CAST helps at-risk individuals affected by mental health and drug addictions by referring them to the proper agencies.

De Jager said CAST is not the only solution to the region’s social problems, but its strength lies in bringing all partners together to support “vulnerable” people.

He added his support for local housing initiatives that have a large impact on the perception of homelessness and vulnerable populations.

De Jager noted an additional police officer will be added to the Community Support and Enforcement Team with the primary focus being on youth.