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Thefts, assaults on the rise

Thefts and assaults are increasing in Campbell River, according to the RCMP quarterly report.

The report spans from April to the end of June, and the amount of calls the detachment received was about the same this year as last year, according to RCMP Insp. Lyle Gelinas.

However, the number of assaults went up from 91 last year to 122 this year. Also, theft over $5,000 went up from three last year to 23 this year, and theft under $5,000 rose from 181 last year to 243 this year.

But Sgt. Craig Massey of the Campbell River RCMP pointed out that the reports fluctuate and that snapshots showing three months of statistics can seem more alarming than they actually are. He expects the numbers for these categories will go down again in the coming months.

On a positive note, frauds went down, from 31 last year to 22 this year, and traffic collisions went from 95 last year to 74 this year.

The current priorities of the Campbell River RCMP are: police community relations directed at youth safety in aboriginal communities, and communication directed at First Nation communities, organized crime directed at local and outside organized crime groups, traffic directed at prolific suspended drivers, and crime reduction directed at prolific offenders and crime hotspots.

On April 17, Crime Stoppers added the ability to submit tips from iPhones, and on May 1 the organized crime and gang tip line opened.

“In this quarter there were 55 tips received, five arrests, 33 matters cleared, nine charges, three weapons recovered, and $1200 worth of property recovered,” wrote Gelinas in his report.

He noted that Restorative Justice program referrals were down from the first quarter but added that they are on the rise again now.

The majority of offenders referred this quarter were youth with three being adults.

Gelinas said the program continues to benefit the detachment and the community.

According to Gelinas, the Police Dog Section (PDS) calls for service went down in this quarter, but are picking up. The dogs recently had their skill sets upgraded in high-risk tracking, building clearing, and vehicle stops, and he said they are integral to police work in Campbell River.

“It is a well known fact that the type of individuals our members deal with are generally more violent due to mental health issues compounded by alcohol or drugs,” he wrote.

“The increased lack of respect for authority in general is another factor we deal with daily.

“The above noted issues are easier to resolve when a PDS unit is available.”

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