B&E's skyrocket in West Kelowna

RCMP calls for service went up 8% in West Kelowna last year, compared to 2016.

That's according to a quarterly report delivered to council this week.

But the big jump was in break and enters, with residential B&E's climbing 128% between the two years.

RCMP Sergeant Mona Kauffeld says police have recurring suspects to keep track of.

"Most of those (types of crimes) are a result of prolific offenders - we are successful, at times, in apprehending them and having them before the courts. Often they're released, and then they're back at it again," she said.

"We did make some arrests in the past quarter, hoping that trend goes downward now for the upcoming quarter. Many of the trends that you see that our community faces are also trends that are seen in other communities."

Councillor Rick de Jong also asked Kauffeld about how often police test DNA samples that are recovered from crime scenes.

She says it happens a lot more often than it used to.

"I think we've come a long way from years ago, with the DNA and the types of crimes we were collecting DNA for. But now it's becoming more common, and our labs are able to handle a lot more DNA," she said.

"If we do have a crime scene - say they broke into a residence and they've left blood behind inside the residence, we can take a sample of that and send it in."

When isolating the fourth quarters of last year and 2016, the number of those cases doubled year to year, while disturbing the peace charges more than tripled.

West Kelowna also reported big increases in vehicle thefts for 2017, while the number of violent offences and car crashes decreased last year.

That detachment is also planning the next steps, when it comes to detaching itself from the Kelowna operation.

That information was volunteered to West Kelowna council this week, during discussion of the RCMP's quarterly report.

CAO Jim Zaffino says things are in the early stages.

"One of the things that staff is looking at is the possibility of eventually, down the road, coming to council and segregating West Kelowna from Kelowna," he said.

"Right now, the detachment is under Kelowna, and there's a business plan in place that would look at the feasibility of that."

No costing for that business plan has been made publicly available to date.