Kimberley RCMP quarterly report

Policing priorities for coming year identified; continued emphasis on traffic initiatives including distracted driving

Kimberley City Council received the First Quarter Policing Report at Council Monday evening.

The report, written by Cpl. Chris Newel, Operations NCO at the Kimberley Detachment, is delivered four times per year and outlines how the Detachment is operating under the Annual Performance Plan (APP), which is the guiding document.

Each year Detachment members meet with community stakeholders to come up with five priorities for the year. This quarter is the last for the 23013-2014 identified initiatives, which were distracted driving/cell phones, longboards/skateboards, alcohol/raves, drug trafficking and prolific offenders.

A new APP will be in effect for the next quarter. Those priorities have been identified as continued focus on prolific offenders, visibility in the community and traffic issues. The Traffic Initiative will include education, enforcement and awareness of traffic related concerns such as long boards, speeding, sue of electronic devices and impaired driving. A new priority for the coming year is domestic violence. Newel says this is a province-wide issue and a number of groups and agencies will be working towards a common goal. Police will also continue contact with McKim students.

“Over the year officers made an effort to locate and enforce the Distracted Driving Offences, “Newel wrote. “This turned out to be a lot more difficult than perceived. We all see the widespread use of cell phones by drivers, but it’s often difficult to obtain sufficient evidence for a charge. Over the year, officers dealt with over 35 drivers with respect to cell phones.”

Newel says there will be continued pressure on police to deal with cell phone offenders as cell hone usage has been identified as a major contributing factor in a number of collisions. In the coming year, RCMP members will be working with SpeedWatch on a new Cell Watch program, with a focus on education and awareness.

Longboards and raves are not an issue over the winter months, but Newel said in terms of raves, police hoped to learn about planned events before they happen. Police work closely with Natural Resources on raves, as they are a land use issue. Police only get involved from a traffic perspective.

“Forestry does on occasion send someone out to speak to the rave organizer on the Friday about cleaning up the site. For the most part they do clean it up.

“We really encourage persons affected by raves to notify police.”

During the quarter, police conducted 18 checks on four prolific offenders, and found them in compliance with conditions.

Calls for service were down 27 per cent from the previous quarter and 10 per cent from the same quarter in 2013. Newel noted that there was a noticeable drop in false alarms (50 per cent) which is something police had been concerned with. The decrease in false alarms made up half of the  10 per cent decrease in overall calls. He also cautioned that because Kimberley is a smaller detachment with relatively fewer calls, wide swings in statistics often don’t mean much.