Expect to see more members of the Williams Lake RCMP in rural communities this summer.
Inspector Jeff Pelley says the Detachment was successful in securing additional seasonal funding to enhance rural patrols in Big Lake, Likely, Miocene, and other communities.
“We’re going to be increasing the presence based on festivities, liquor licenses, focusing on impaired driving, and more proactive approaches throughout the summer into the long week of September commencing shortly after Stampede long weekend,” says Pelley.
The seasonal policing budget that the Detachment applied for is through the Province and has no extra cost to the regional district or the City of Williams Lake.
Pelley says they had applied and were successful last year, but that it was unfortunately not utilized as July 7 was the start of their involvement with the unprecedented wildfires.
“We have a leave restriction on,” adds Pelley of the 92nd annual Stampede in Williams Lake.
“All officers do work throughout the weekend and we are enhanced in the area, and also will not be sacrificing any services to the rural communities.”
From January 1, 2018, to May 30, 2018, there have been 3,082 calls for service for the City and 1,080 calls for service in the rural area.
Trends showing increases include theft from vehicles, robberies, and drug possession offences. Drug trafficking offences have also increased by 300% with 16 offences in 2018 and 4 offences in 2017.
“We are focusing on certain offenders that we believe are responsible for them,” says Pelley of the theft from vehicles.
“However we also request the public remove from valuables from their vehicles as we are having instances where electronic devices or wallets are being stolen from vehicles and that’s completely preventable by having them removed.”
The 267% increase in robberies, Pelley explains can be attributed to charges being successfully approved against individuals where weapons were produced and they incited violence when they were being intercepted by employees.
“Our drug trafficking offences have increased substantially as a result of our General investigative section and Crime Reduction Unit where we have targeted multiple drug traffickers within the community through the proactive generation of investigations,” says Pelley.
Williams Lake RCMP is currently assisting Alexis Creek RCMP in locating Lane Cooper who is wanted on several outstanding arrest warrants. Pelley confirmed that Kurtis Billy who was also wanted on an arrest warrant has since been apprehended and as of Friday remained in police custody.