Local Mounties say prolific offenders can be blamed for a rise in North Okanagan crime stats.
Inspector Gord Stewart told Vernon council criminal code cases were up 14 percent in the final quarter of 2016, including a 27 percent jump in property crimes, which includes thefts, break and enters, and thefts from vehicles.
“The vast majority of our property crime is committed by prolific offenders, and when we chart 25 of them, there are certainly more than that in the community. These people go out and commit crimes,” Stewart told council.
Stewart says for just the City of Vernon, criminal code cases were up 13.9 percent in the fourth quarter, and property crimes rose by 14.5 percent.
Stewart says total calls for police services last year, went over the 30-thousand mark, the fourth straight year for an increase.
“2016 saw the largest annual increase to date in calls for service, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2015.”
In total, police responded to 30,164 calls in the North Okanagan in 2016, up from the 28,621 in 2015.
Stewart says traffic enforcement for the quarter was up 30 percent.
“At the same time, our Vernon officers removed 54 impaired drivers from the roads through suspensions or charges, and we also conducted 14 road blocks.”