RCMP call rate on the rise

Despite efforts to reduce calls, detachment is on pace to exceed 2008 numbers

Campbell River RCMP is on pace to have its busiest year since 2008.

RCMP Insp. Jeff Preston told city council Monday night that calls for service have increased so far in 2015, contrary to the goals of the detachment.

“In 2014, then-Inspector Gelinas had in our work plan that he wanted to decrease calls for service by five per cent,” Preston said. “Calls for service actually increased by six per cent and the beginning of 2015 has also seen an increase. It’s anticipated that if this rate continues we will actually be at a higher rate than in 2008.”

The RCMP is on pace to receive 16,660 calls for service this year compared to 14,679 in 2014 and 16,471 in 2008 which was the busiest for Campbell River RCMP in the last seven years.

But Preston said before ringing the alarm bells, not all calls for service are a bad thing.

He said that the area with the greatest increase in calls for service is for breach of probation or breach of bail.

Preston said the increase of 156 calls can be attributed to the due diligence of officers.

“It’s a result of the very good work by the men and women at the detachment, by doing proactive police work, in particular they conduct over 2,400 curfew and intoxicant checks on individuals that were out in the community on probation or on bail,” Preston said.

Calls for service are also up for causing a disturbance by being drunk in a public place. Preston said the increase of 102 calls is a problem for RCMP.

“It’s a drain on resources and it is a societal issue and it’s also a criminal issue in some regards,” Preston said. “The downtown core is certainly high on our agenda and we do have several initiatives we believe will address the issue. But being a societal issue, it cannot solely be addressed by the RCMP alone.”

Bylaw infractions also topped the list of increased calls for service, with complaints up by 89 so far this year.

“Bylaw complaints, for year-to-date, this year has been one of the highest across the board,” Preston said.

Preston said the council’s decision to hire a second bylaw officer should help lower bylaw complaint calls to the RCMP.

“Myself and the city clerk are working together to come up with some plans on how to deal with calls coming into the RCMP that may be better addressed by the bylaw officers themselves.”

Preston said in addition to working with the city to lower the bylaw complaint statistics and crack down on drunk in a public place calls,

Campbell River RCMP are also working on implementing plans to increase the number of impaired driving charges and distracted driving charges as well as increase trafficking or purpose of trafficking drug charges.