Sgt. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP Detachment delivered the Fourth Quarter Mayor’s Report to Kimberley City Council at their regular meeting this week.
Appearing via the Zoon App, Newel told Council that the RCMP fiscal year runs from April to March 31, and therefore the fourth quarter is the first three months of the year.
The RCMP in Kimberley sets key objects for their Annual Performance Plan through consultation and issues raised by the community.
Specific areas of concern are road safety — Newel says 20 per cent of calls to the detachment are related to traffic — and crime reduction.
“Road safety continues to be a major concern to residents,” the report says. “We continue to work towards our strategic objective of road safety through education, awareness and enforcement. The Speed Watch volunteers typically begin their deployments around this time. They have yet to be deployed this year and we are currently working on strategies with respect to COVID 19. In addition East Kootenay Traffic Services is aligned with our objectives and have increased enforcement on Highway 95A south of Kimberley.
Over the past three months, officers conducted twenty three road checks, dealt with seventy four drivers and removed nineteen impaired drivers from the road.”
Public Relations and Visibility
Over the last quarter there were 46 foot patrols conducted at various locations around the city with the majority being the Platzl, equates to about one every two days. There was also 17 bar checks completed.
Forty seven patrols were made to Wasa over the past three months.
Crime Reduction Unit
The Cranbrook/Kimberley Crime Reduction unit is never short of work. With the recent distribution of relief funds by provincial and federal governments the team has noticed a significant increase in drug activity.
The team is often pulled in several directions depending on crime trends. For instance they were called to assist with the damage to the deer traps in Cranbrook, in this case two Kimberley residents were arrested.
There have been several deaths related to Fentanyl in Cranbrook. Given the serious nature of those the team focuses on drug trafficking. There were two major investigations conducted both involved drug trafficking. Drugs, money and firearms were seized in one and it is before the courts. The other is still under investigation, but both have Kimberley connections. It’s also noted that several of the investigations have an organized crime connections.
Newel said the bust over the past weekend in the Cranbrook Fort Steele area also had Kimberley connections.
“All these things have Kimberley connections,” he said.
There has also been an increase in drug related violence, the report notes. An assault causing bodily harm investigation is currently before the courts and there was drug connections to this incident in both cities.
Prolific Offenders/Court Ordered Conditions
“We monitored between two and five persons on court ordered conditions over the period.
The number changes as persons are added, others complete the required time, move away or in some instances breach their conditions and end up back in custody. 80 curfew checks were done.
Calls for Service
“The detachment was called to investigate/attend 440 calls for service, up from the previous quarter which was 382. And up from the same quarter in 2019 which was 393. Forty seven more calls amounts to one more call every two days so although interesting not a huge concern. Increases were noted with respect to assisting other agencies (22 to 35), these are typically mental health calls. We do have a chronic caller who although is not a problem we are working with his support worker to reduce the calls. Cause disturbance increased (8-13) along with impaired drivers. There was a decrease in domestic violence. Please note for the most part these statistics are pre-COVID 19.
“Crime rates are tracked throughout the province. In viewing those I did note that although a much larger city with considerably different demographics, Kamloops has more thefts in three days than we have in in three months. Not a proper comparison but it does show the challenges other communities face.”
Newel also told Council that staffing-wise, the detachment was at 90 per cent, which is where the City would like it to be. One member has been moved to Cranbrook due to a shortage there.
Newel said reporting was a little behind and he would be back in about four weeks to deliver the first quarter report.