December 17, 2012 - 3:00 PM
Santa Claus is not the only man in uniform who is busy during the holiday season.
While most of us are focused on shopping lists, travel and cheer, the holidays are a busy time for RCMP. It's typically peak season for shoplifting, vehicle break and enters, alcohol-related incidents, suicide threats, extreme weather conditions and all the car crashes it brings with it.
RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Grant Learned said with overnight snowfall, several reports of accidents in the Kamloops area have kept police busy.
"The roads are slick," Learned said. "Drive within the prevalent weather conditions."
A semi-truck jack-knifed heading eastbound on the Trans Canada Highway heading into Valleyview and a vehicle was reported overturned on Columbia Street.
In the past few days, Kamloops RCMP responded to alcohol related incidents, suicide threats and extreme weather conditions.
RCMP were called to a Christmas party at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre, Dec. 14, after a drunk married couple—each in their late 50s—made a scene that Learned described as "child-like." While the holidays bring out the children in all of us, Learned said they were arrested and taken to the Battle Street detachment before being released.
A 35-year-old male was also arrested and sustained cuts to his hand after smashing glass at the same event.
"The Christmas party got out of control," Learned said, but charges weren't laid, as preferred by the hotel.
That same evening, RCMP held a roadside check that resulted in about six drug seizures including marijuana and oxycodone, one 90-day driving prohibition and one 24-hour suspension. RCMP also caught two drivers with open alcohol in their vehicles, three without a license, four without insurance and two driving contrary to their restrictions.
Learned said police will continue to conduct roadside checks, especially as the weather conditions worsen.
While RCMP resources are feeling pressures from the holiday season, Learned said residents are feeling it too. RCMP responded to three suicide incidents over the weekend.
Limited vitamin D, loneliness and financial pressures can contribute to increased depression over the holidays.
"It becomes extra difficult at a time of year when people are expected to be happy and expected to be festive," Learned said. "That's consistent with the season."
Learned doesn't mean to be a Grinch during the season, but he said many of these holiday woes can be avoided with a few reminders.
"It's a no brainer - anytime you're drinking make plans to get home. Make those plans in advance," he said.
He said when shopping, don't leave shopping bags visible in your vehicles, and if possible, take the presents home between stores.
— Jessica Wallace
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012