Safety & who to call

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In the evolving response to the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia with businesses closing or reducing hours of operation, the City and RCMP encourage the business community and all citizens to take steps in adopting and adhering to crime prevention practices.

Kelowna’s crime rate is driven by property crime, much of it preventable like thefts from unlocked vehicles or poorly secured bikes.

Protect your property

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect your business and property.

  • Position computer equipment and other electronics out of plain view from street level, or where possible remove from premises
  • Remove all valuables from vehicles, including electronics, money, wallets and personal identification including those with property addresses, and garage door openers
  • Establish a routine for checking that your property, including your vehicle is secured eg. set an alarm to remind yourself to check locks and windows before going to bed at night
  • Ensure you have a detailed record of property (commercial or residential property) so if you do experience a theft, you are able to provide police with details
  • Register your CCTV camera registry program (applicable only to Downtown Kelowna businesses)
Conduct a basic risk assessment

Ask yourself the below questions and take steps to address areas of vulnerability.

  • Are the views into and out of your property blocked by signage or other obstacles?
  • Are there any hiding spots around your windows or doors?
  • Are there any implements of opportunity or break-in tools (eg. loose rocks, or any objects that can be picked up and thrown) in your parking lot or close to your windows and doors?
  • Is there any landscaping which restricts views into and out of your property? Overgrown landscape will decrease the opportunity for detection of "would-be" thieves
  • Do you have an alarm system?
  • Do you have CCTV?

Who to Call

When there is:

Call:
An emergency911 for police, fire & ambulance
Crime or illegal activity250-762-3300 for the Kelowna RCMP
A safety concern downtown250-470-9058 for the Downtown Patrol (DKA)
Safe needle disposal
in public spaces or outside private residences
250-469-8801 (needle collection option) for the Fire Department (non-emergency)
 
A bylaw issue250-469-8686 for Bylaw Services
Graffiti250-469-8600 (option 6) for the graffiti hotline

Safety concerns

We recognize that there are issues in our community and we are doing what we can as a city to address the challenges our community is experiencing. We are not alone in this situation. Similar challenges are being faced by municipalities throughout BC and across Canada. 

What is being done to address safety

We continue to focus on the enforcement of criminal activity, increasing street cleaning/addressing litter issues, and connecting people who need help with support services. We work closely with numerous partners including the Kelowna RCMP, Downtown Kelowna Association and Interior Health to balance the security needs of all residents in our community. Check out this fact sheet that provides an overview of the actions the City and some of its partners have taken to ensure that Kelowna remains a vibrant, clean and safe place to live and visit.

City public safety initiatives
Safety personnel
  • Added 23 Kelowna RCMP Officers since 2015
  • Nine City Bylaw Officers added since 2015 
    • Dedicated Bylaw Officers allocated to patrol downtown (Lawrence Ave. and Leon. Ave. areas) from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. 
  • Paladin Security patrols the downtown area (Stuart Park/City Hall/Kasugai)
  • BC Transit has a regular patrol of the Queensway bus loop
  • In addition to the two RCMP Bike Teams, the City has two Bylaw Bike Teams who patrol downtown and surrounding areas July – September.
  • Actioned Police and Crisis Teams (PACT) which combines an RCMP officer and a mental health nurse as a team who intervenes in calls where suspected mental health concerns exist.
    • The team is trained to find an appropriate resolution, reducing visits to the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and police cells
    • This continues to be a successful model resulting in providing efficient, compassionate and effective enforcement.
Keeping our parks and beaches safe and clean
  • City staff conduct park and beach sweeps daily
  • Four to eight daily checks (includes clean-up, landscaping, watering and general maintenance) of downtown parks and beaches (Stuart Park, City Park, Waterfront Park, Tugboat Bay) depending on the season
  • Park Ambassadors (two) monitor parks and engage with visitors throughout the summer months
  • Where it is warranted (for example in public washrooms), Park Services staff can install a safe needle disposal box in the park/area. While some believe that this condones illegal drug use, it has found to be a successful measure in keeping drug paraphernalia off the ground
Street Cleaning
  • Downtown core (Richter to Abbott and Hwy 97 to Knox Mountain) is swept twice a week in addition to spring street sweep (approx. March to mid-May, weather dependent); pressure washing takes place when necessary
  • Inspections take place daily
  • Two City staff work maintenance over the weekend and additional staff are provided for clean-up after special events
  • City has a vacuum curb/gutter sweeper that operates every second working days, cleaning in the early morning
Closed circuit television (CCTV)
  • Majority are in the downtown area, primarily in the City parkades
  • Since installation, our private security contractor, Paladin Security, has noted that they have the increased ability to intercept individuals prior to a disturbance/illegal activity taking place, particularly within the parkades
CCTV registry pilot program

Through this pilot program, businesses in the DKA boundaries can voluntarily register their security camera location(s) and contact information with the City through a secure database. This will provide Kelowna RCMP with quicker access to potential sources of video evidence.