Don’t leave cash overnight, commander warns

Lyonel Doherty, Times Chronicle

Osoyoos RCMP Sgt. Jason Bayda is urging local business owners not to leave cash on the premises overnight.

That was his advice during a presentation to the regional district last week as part of the RCMP’s quarterly report.

Crime statistics were presented to the regional district on May 5 comparing the first quarter (Q1) of 2022 with the same period last year. 

Comparing the two quarters, total violent crime in Osoyoos is up 43 per cent (from 28 incidents in Q1 2021 to 40 in Q1 2022.

There were 12 assaults causing bodily harm in the first quarter of last year, compared to 15 this quarter – a jump of 25 per cent.

Uttering threats went up 20 per cent (from five incidents to six), but domestic violence stayed the same at eight incidents.

Osoyoos RCMP Sgt. Jason Bayda said they only have a “little bit of red” to report. He noted there were 80 more files to deal with in this quarter, so that naturally increases the numbers.

He said violent crime only went up by three, adding this category didn’t even make their top 10 calls for service.

“I’m pleased where we are at considering the increase in files.”

Auto theft in Osoyoos increased 67 per cent (from three to five incidents).

Business break-ins went up 50 per cent (from four incidents to six), while residential break-ins went down 25 per cent (from four incidents to three).

Bayda said police are reminding business owners not to leave petty cash overnight. They also advise owners to post a sign stating there is no cash in the building after hours.

Mischief to property increased 38 per cent (from 16 to 22), but thefts went down 44 per cent (from nine incidents to five).

Theft from vehicles also went down 38 per cent (from 21 to 13). Fraud also decreased 38 per cent (from 16 incidents to 10).

The top 10 calls in Osoyoos were: alarm (43), traffic incidents (34), assist fire and ambulance (32), property offence (31), assist other agencies (28), check well- being (28), suspicious circumstances (27), assist general public (26), theft (25), and disturbance (24).

The total calls for service in Osoyoos during Q1 2021 were 483, compared to 562 this quarter – an increase of 16 per cent.

Bayda referred to Sgt. Rob Hughes’ report from Princeton, where police moved one offender out of the community. Unfortunately, that offender came to Osoyoos, Bayda said, letting his audience know that Osoyoos RCMP will be monitoring him with the same amount of pressure, resulting in the offender moving on to the next community.

But the officer acknowledged that pushing these people onto the next community is not solving the problem, hinting that change is needed in the court system.

Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff commended Bayda and his team for their work in keeping crime in check.

“We are proud of you,” she said.

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