File photo.

Kimberley City Council discusses RCMP first quarter report

Traffic continues to be one of the biggest hurdles, says Sgt.

Sgt. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP presented the first quarter RCMP report to Kimberley City Council at a regular meeting on Monday, July 8, 2019.

Sgt. Newel says that traffic continues to be one of the major issues that the detachment deals with on a regular basis.

“The detachment receives traffic complaints regularly, probably almost one a day,” Newel explained in his report. “They re prioritized and depending on the location we do our best to respond. If we are unable to locate and deal with the driver we often follow up either in person, by phone or a warning letter. This issue with traffic complaints will continue. We cover such a large area and the concerns vary with location, so it’s difficult to address them all.

“We will continue to be proactive through enforcement, education and the use of our speed watch volunteers.”

READ MORE: Kimberley break and enter suspects arrested in Cranbrook

He adds that the City has also installed several speed readers throughout the City as a traffic calming measure to help address speed limits.

From April to June of 2019 (the RCMP’s first quarter) the Kimberley RCMP had 124 traffic complaints. 18 impaired drivers were removed from the road, which Newel explained is lower than the same quarter last year, but in line with previous years. The detachment conducted 21 road checks during the first quarter as well.

Newel also spoke to Council about the construction on 4th Avenue, which is expected to last into the fall.

“Townsite hill has been a bit of a challenge, we’ve received a lot of calls about closing access to Trail and Creston streets because people aren’t merging properly, but that’s not a police issue,” he said. “We’ve written a few red light tickets for people who are jumping the light. Things seem to have settled down recently [however].”

In terms of crime reduction, the detachment has been busy recently between both Kimberley and Cranbrook.

“The Cranbrook/Kimberley Crime Reduction Unit actively investigates those involved in the drug trade and monitors profilic offenders,” Newel wrote in the report. “The team is very busy with ever changing targets. After a lengthy investigation the unit executed five search warrants in mid-June, four of which were in Kimberley where two arrests were made. A substantial amount of drugs were seized along with a replica firearm and cash.”

He adds that there are two subjects in Kimberley on court ordered contitions that the detachment is monitoring.

“One of the subjects was involved in the drug investigation and ironically checks by officers provided evidence to the Crime Reduction team which helped support the search warrants,” he explained. “The second subject on conditions was arrested in early June when he was found outside his residence during curfew hours.”

READ MORE: RCMP arrest five; seize drugs, cash, weapons

Overall there were 520 calls for service in the first quarter, comparable to the same quarter in 2018 which was 545.

Mayor Don McCormick commented on the trends in calls over the past several years.

“Going through the total calls from 2011 to 2019, it’s a fairly flat total number, which is surprising considering over that time we’ve added 1,000 people to the population,” McCormick said.

Newel agreed, saying that people don’t typically want to move to Kimberley with the intent of committing crimes.

“Traffic is always an issue; people who want to move here are probably not contributing to crime,” Newel said. “I think people prefer skiing here [as opposed to] committing crimes.”

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