RCMP make arrests for looting in evacuated areas in Interior - InfoNews.ca

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RCMP make arrests for looting in evacuated areas in Interior

FILE PHOTO
July 11, 2017 - 3:00 PM

B.C. RCMP are redeploying hundreds officers to cope with the policing issues created by the wildfires in the Interior.

Commanding Officer of the B.C. RCMP Brenda Butterworth-Carr says additional RCMP officers from across the province and from Alberta are heading to fire-affected communities to assist with the evacuations and to patrol evacuated neighbourhoods to protect property.

"The numbers are changing regularly, but it would be safe to say that as of this morning upwards of 300 additional members have been or will be deployed," she said during a news conference today, July 11. "Those officers are also there to supplement core RCMP policing duties in these areas."

Along with regular policing, members are tasked with 24-hour patrols of evacuated neighbourhoods, managing traffic congestion, road safety, general emergency response and assisting with evacuation alerts and orders.

Butterworth-Carr says the RCMP is prioritizing public and officer safety and wellness. She says many resources deployed at the moment are from specialized units such as the tactical troop and traffic services.

"We have a provincial team reviewing shift schedules to ensure proper levels of resources are maintained, while providing our people breaks and down time," she said. "We have short term and long term strategies in place."

Alberta RCMP will have 40 officers in B.C. within the next few days.

Butterworth-Carr says the RCMP understands that this is a stressful time for evacuees who are concerned about the security of their properties.

"We too have employees and police officers that live in these communities and are similarly impacted by evacuation orders and alerts," she said. "Many of our members and their families have been evacuated and at least two of our officers have lost their homes to fire."

The officers in evacuated communities are constantly patrolling, which led to 10 people being arrested in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake yesterday, July 10.

North District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson says in 100 Mile House two youths were arrested for allegedly having break and enter tools in their possession. Another man was arrested the same day and will be facing a charge of break and enter. Police also took two people into custody, seizing weapons, bear spray and heroin. During the investigation police recovered an all-terrain vehicle that is believed to be stolen.

There are also three people who allegedly tried breaking into a Telus vehicle in 100 Mile House. Telus employees interrupted the group and tried to locate them before calling police. Officers were unable to locate the trio.

Butterworth-Carr says the RCMP is thankful for the support they've received.

"This is an unprecedented situation and one that continues to rapidly change. The RCMP has received tremendous support from our partners and we are continuing to meet the various policing needs," Butterworth-Carr said. "Our officers and employees continue to exceed my expectations and they will continue to have our full support moving forward."


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