Crime numbers on 'upswing'

KAMLOOPS – More officers doesn't necessarily mean less crime according to RCMP statistics.

The numbers show a nearly eight per cent increase in crime and a nearly full staff roster in 2013. In total 14,499 actual offences occurred during the year, up from just over 13,300 in 2012. Mueller notes the numbers don't tell the whole story though since a portion of the increase comes from officers and teams completing investigations or projects and being proactive. Officers are more involved in patrolling and investigations and as a result more charges can be laid, according to Kamloops top cop Insp. Brad Mueller.

Federal statute violations increased by more than 41 per cent in 2013, to 199. Mueller says that can be attributed to the number of boat patrols they had out on the river, which was significantly more than in previous years, and is more a reflection of increased charges rather than increased infractions.

Kamloops is also seeing an increase in drug activity even though officers are working hard to keep gang activity out of the city. Part of that activity is crime against property and person, often seen as a way for quick cash to help pay for drugs.

“Crime (against property and person) is cyclical, and we're on the upswing,” Mueller notes. “It's related to drug activity... we're working to dismantle, disrupt it.”

Gang activity and drug trade disruption is possible because Kamloops RCMP is running at nearly full staff and many of the officers that were on leave for one reason or another are back in uniform and helping to tackle more crime.

Mueller says while the calls for service hasn't increased by much the increase in resources has allowed them to lay more charges, especially with specialty projects and investigations from the Target Enforcement and Major Crimes units.

In 2013 crime increased over the previous year in each of the seven main categories RCMP tracks for city council:
Crimes against person, increased 1.9 per cent.
Crimes against property, increased nine per cent.
Other criminal code violations ,increased 13.6 per cent.
Controlled drug and substance act, increased 9.3 per cent.
Other federal statute violations, increased 41.1 per cent.
Provincial statute violations, increased 7.3 per cent.
Traffic violations, increased 5.4 per cent.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

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