The region in which we live is the Okanagan Similkameen – with policing done by the RCMP. Mounties have detachments in each community but the management of resources and the stats coordinated in Penticton.
It is harder and harder to get info from the police these days so we are releasing some info that is given to community leaders but not provided to media in a timely fashion.
The report is authored by new regional Superintendent Ted de Jager but I am sure many members involved in its construction. Also noted Regional S/Sergeant Kirsten Marshall.
Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding and tailgating, coupled with distracted and impaired driving are the leading cause of collisions in the region. All of these behaviours put the motoring public at risk every single day. The loss of life, injury and damage to property can be avoided though safe driving practices, attention to the task of driving and the use of designated drivers and public transportation. Significant driving incidents over the last quarter include:
15 collisions in the Oliver area, seven of which caused significant injury:
o A vehicle being driven by a male believed to be intoxicated caused a head on collision at the Vaseaux Lake corners resulting in paralysis of a passenger of the victim vehicle. The impaired driver was relatively unharmed
o Two young adult males were street racing in Oliver. One of the vehicles lost control and went off road causing serious injuries to the driver. Matter is still under investigation. A fatal collision on Hwy 3 at the Ashnola Road intersection was the result of a pickup crossing the highway and being struck on the driver’s side by an eastbound Audi TT. The driver of the pickup succumbed to his injuries
A vehicle was reported driving erratically and passing traffic on the shoulder of the highway near Keremeos. In a coordinated response with Osoyoos, the vehicle was located near Richter Pass. A male from the LMD was arrested after police determined he was on numerous conditions not to be driving. He was charged with Dangerous Driving and multiple breaches. He was held and sentenced to 60 days in jail
Community Support in a Mental Health Crisis
On July 20, a female was reported trespassing and looking through residences at the Summerland Beach and RV Campground. When police attended, she swam in to the lake. Using a civilian boat, she was assisted by residents of the campground and taken to shore where she was then taken into police custody for a mental health evaluation.
Dangerous Driving, Dangerous Actions ‐ Police were called to Hedley for a complaint about vehicle doing burn outs in the town. Prior to police arrival another complaint was received that someone had fired a shotgun at the vehicle and struck the front of it. A male was arrested and charged for Careless Use of a Firearm and his weapons seized.
Rural Patrols ‐ Police have taken several enforcement actions within the Village of Hedley this quarter. There were 85 files in the village which have resulted in 5 criminal code charges and 3 traffic related charges.
Target Prolific Offenders
Community Policing supported this anti‐theft program to help reduce the number of stolen bikes in Penticton. The start‐up cost was recouped through a $5 registration fee. Local bike stores and pawn shops have been contacted to be included. Several events have been held to increase awareness and there have been daily walk‐ins to the community police office for bicycle registration. So far, it appears that bike theft has decreased slightly since the inception of the program with just over 400 bicycles registered in the first five months.
The region is also experiencing a 19 per cent increase in auto theft.
“Auto theft is one of those crimes where they are entirely preventable, be it through an ignition cut off device or a physical barrier of putting a car in a garage,” De Jager states, noting an insurance deductible alone would pay for an immobilizer.
A male driving a motorcycle threatened Okanagan Correctional Center (OCC) staff in their parking lot and refused to stop for police. Over the next couple of weeks, multiple attempts to stop him failed. Plainclothes members who were in an unmarked police vehicle observed the male get off his motorcycle at a grocery store parking lot and apprehended him when he had no way of fleeing once again. The male has since been charged with multiple driving
offences as well as 10 Criminal Code Offences and remains in custody. He may have earned a return visit to OCC.
From August 2 to September 26, sixteen bicycles have been either reported stolen or found in Summerland. This is a dramatic increase over last year and of concern is that vehicles appear to be stolen near where bicycles are being left. The public are reminded that prolific offenders will seize any opportunity to steal an unlocked bicycle or enter an unlocked vehicle.
Target Violent Criminals
Illegal Transportation ‐ On July 1, a single vehicle MVI occurred at Rosedale and Hwy 97 at 4 AM. The occupant(s) of the vehicle fled the scene and left behind an assault rifle in the car. Illegal Withdrawal from an Illegal Dispensary A male entered a marijuana dispensary in Keremeos, produced a weapon and committed a robbery. Staff members were injured in a struggle with the male. The suspects fled toward Osoyoos and was arrested and charged with multiple offences after a coordinated response by the Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional Detachment. The public is reminded that the sale and purchase of marijuana in any circumstance other than through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations is illegal and may result in charges against staff or clients.
Reduce the Impact of Social Disorder
Watchful Citizens ‐ Police were called to Tulameen for a stolen vehicle which had just occurred. The owner of the vehicle chased after and caught the suspect and with the assistance of neighbors was holding the suspect on the ground when police arrived and arrested him as well as a female in another stolen vehicle. Stolen property was recovered from a break and enter which had also occurred in the Tulameen area. Although this was a successful outcome, the public is reminded to always call 911 for crimes in progress and to not put themselves in danger by confronting potentially dangerous individuals.
Target Illegal Drug Operations
Speeding to an Arrest ‐ On July 23, 2017, a single vehicle motorcycle collision on Hwy 97 in Summerland resulted in the recovery of drug paraphernalia and 25 rounds of ammunition. Police determined that the motorcycle and licence plate were stolen leding to multiple charges against the rider.
Source: RCMP quarterly report for the period ending September 30th but released in late November
Picture of de Jager – Black Press Digital
Picture of Marshal – Oliver Daily News