One-third of Kelowna residents experienced crime in the last year

Only half of those who were victimized reported it to police.

Three out of 10 Kelowna residents were victims of a crime in the last year, according to a recent citizen survey conducted by NRG Research Group.

The City of Kelowna commissioned the report to get a grasp on how residents perceived their personal safety.

Consultant Tim Chan said that the vast majority of the issues were property-crime related and only half of those who were victimized reported it to police.

“The primary reason was that they didn’t think the police could do (anything,)” said Chan, speaking to council.

“You may want to look at a communication strategy to report all crime to police as a way of understanding and tracking potential crime trends. It’s almost like this could be a grassroots thing.”

READ MORE: MONEY SEIZED FROM CRIME OPERATIONS DIRECTED AT KELOWNA PROGRAM

Chan also recommended that the City of Kelowna consider developing a property crime prevention plan as that is what the bulk of crimes committed were.

While a-third say they were victimized by in the last year, the vast majority still feel safe within their homes and seven out of 10 people said the prospect of being a victim of crime rarely or never affected there life.

Conversely, one quarter of residents believe property crime has risen in their own neighbourhood design the past year and 50 per cent see that to be the case city-wide.

Also while a total of 99 per cent of respondents said they felt very safe 72 per cent or somewhat safe 27 per centin their neighbourhoods during the day, only 43 per cent of respondents felt very safe at night, with another 39 per cent saying they felt somewhat safe night.

The survey breaks the city into four areas—central Kelowna (including downtown), east and east central Kelowna, north and north east Kelowna and south Kelowna. And according to its findings, residents of central Kelowna are “significantly less likely” than those in other areas to feel very, or somewhat, safe in their neighbourhood at night.

The survey showed that 51 per cent respondents blame the homeless and drug users for what they believe to be an increase in crime.

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@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

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