The Crime Reduction Unit of the Williams Lake RCMP continues to focus on local drug traffickers and those in the possession of weapons.
Inspector Jeff Pelley was a guest speaker at Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting held at Signal Point Restaurant.
He says since the Unit began operations in May, they have had 217 active investigations with 55 reports submitted to Crown Counsel.
“One of them compounded with one other file had 35 charges so you get multiple on each…He’s under close supervision and can’t re-offend. We seized a substantial amount of firearms, drugs, and so on from that individual and that’s only one individual.”
Pelley says the Crime Reduction Unit alone which does not include their other members that provide services have seized almost $200,000 worth of heroin in multiple investigations since May and also close to $74,000 of meth off of vendors from the street, $45,000 worth of cocaine, and a small amount of cannabis.
11 firearms also have been seized.
“They’ve done 50 breach finds and we have sustained some really good successes on that front,” he says.
The Crime Reduction Unit and General Duty according to Pelley have conducted 766 curfew checks since February with 30 charges that resulted in convictions and 206 active charges recommended.
“That’s a substantial amount of accountability there, but that’s only one issue and that’s just strictly on enforcement side,” says Pelley noting that the Detachment is continuing to work on strategies and with partners in collaboration to look at the root issues and establishing what those are so lead agencies can be engaged and roles to support that are identified.
“These are these individuals that have mental health issues, addictions, so on and so forth where we pick them up for being intoxicated and we’re releasing them when they sober up,” he says.
“We’re not a sobering center. We need to look at this root issue. We need to get to it and there’s many individuals at that table, for example, we have one individual that may be close to 300 times a year in our cells and it’s just for a few hours to sober up and that’s not good enough. If we work through and try to address these issues many of our officers can focus on other high-level crimes as well.”
Pelley says that the Detachment’s main priority for this year is reducing and preventing the violent impact of crime within our community.
“Within that, we have many initiatives targeting our prolific offenders-the groups responsible for hiking those very serious crimes that would bring us on this crime severity index,” he says alluding to Maclean’s Magazine 4th Most Dangerous Place Ranking.
“In addition, we’re looking to strive to drive down our property crimes by 10%, and we’re looking to reduce drug offences by 10%. We’re also looking at enhancing our regional collaboration with our community members, our working, our rural communities, and our First Nation communities.”