Trent Ernst, Editor
The Tumbler Ridge RCMP had 1020 calls for service in 2013, down from the previous year’s total of 1196, according to the 2013 year end policing report recently released.
The most common offence, according to the 2013 policing report fell into the traffic/bylaw and non-specified “other” infractions, with 556 files in 2013, down from 617 the year before.
The second highest were offences against property, with 123 incidents reported. The year before, there were 177.
Only two offence types rose in 2013: provincial statute violations, rising from 80 to 87, and drug related incidents, going from 15 to 19.
Sergeant Craig Learning took over as detachment commander in September after former commander Sergeant Kurt Render departed in August. He says that one of the things that they’ve been working on is just being seen. “I’m a big believer in police presence,” says Learning. “Just by showing people you are out there and on the road, you will deter people.”
Learning says that one of the things he wants to focus on in the future is dealing with the root causes of offenders. “Studies are showing that crime is being committed for underlying reasons,” says Learning. “No job, alcohol, etc. If you can deal with those issues, you reduce the crime.”
One of the things the detachment is going to focus on is crimes caused by people with mental health issues. “I think mental health issues are something we can take on at the department and then work with the appropriate agencies, finding ways to address the cycles we’re seeing.”
Learning believes that if the police and related agencies can address issues that affect the community as a whole, the town will have a drop in offenses.
The detachment has focused on proactively checking special occasion licenses and other events, like jam night at the Legion. “That’s a very good initiative, and we’ll probably keep it on board,” he says. “I want to see an increase in motor vehicle checks. As I said, I’m a firm believer in police presence.”