Lake Country’s year in review – June 2019

A look back at some of the biggest stories of the year for the month of June

Lake Country to consider more cops

The District of Lake Country and the RCMP agreed that up to fire new police officers should be added in the 2020 fiscal year.

“As the district’s population continues to grow, the need to add additional RCMP members grows,” said a report presented to council.

“While there are no hard or defined rules for the level of RCMP service in relation to population, what can be agreed by both the RCMP and (district) staff is that members should be added before significant growth in crime rates (are) noted.”

Adding a single RCMP officer is estimated to cost $127,000.

Car bursts into flames on Highway 97

A Hyundai Santa Fe sat vacant and desolate along the southbound shoulder of Highway 97 after it burst into flames on June 16.

Just before 3 p.m., the Lake Country Fire Department received reports of the car completely engulfed in flames on Highway 97 near Gatzke Road.

The man and woman who occupied the vehicle managed to pull over and exit the car before it ignited, said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

Troubling rise in RCMP crime stats

Crimes in Lake Country increased in almost every category from 2017 to 2018, according to an annual report.

In total, there were 617 offences in 2018, 89 more than 2017.

Some of the most notable increases were a 260 per cent increase in business break and enters; a 267 per cent increase in theft of motor vehicle incidents and a 119 per cent increase in property offences.

RCMP suspect the increase can be partially attributed to repeat offenders who finished their sentence in 2018 and rejoined the community, according to Lake Country RCMP Sgt. Cameron Holloway.

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