April 25, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - The beginning of 2016 saw a spike in crime in Kamloops.
Supt. Brad Mueller told a police committee meeting April 25, that Kamloops has seen an increase in crime over the last quarter. He attributed the rise to a few factors, particularly transient individuals new to the area with many coming from Alberta, increased street level drug trade and new prolific offenders released from courts without conditions.
Overall there was a 8.1 per cent increase in reported offences compared to the first quarter of 2015 according to an RCMP document attached to the meeting's agenda. Crimes against the person were up by 22.1 per cent, with 65 more reported in the last quarter compared to the same period in 2015 while crimes against property were up 12.2 per cent with 167 more reported.
Increased fentanyl use is a concern as well, according to Mueller. He said there are some individuals associated with lower mainland drug crime in the area, and that police are monitoring the situation.
Mueller said that even though police resources are tight right now, public safety hasn't been affected.
Community safety director David Duckworth told the committee the city would be asking groups planning events which involve traffic control there would be more push back about police taking on the duties, given the lack of police resources. He told the committee when an event is held the organization holding the event is responsible for traffic control, but that typically the RCMP take on the duties.
Mueller said the RCMP would still be happy to take the duties for city events, but the Kamloops RCMP has limited resources and can’t take every job. The force is funded for 130 officers, but have less than a full force.
Duckworth said it’s part of policy already that organizations are tasked with traffic control, but it will be pushed more that contractors be hired for those duties instead of relying on police.
“We’re getting numerous requests for police at individual little marches,” he said.
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