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Wildfires, opioid crisis make for a busy summer for Kamloops RCMP

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
October 30, 2017 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - An influx of people to Kamloops this summer due to surrounding wildfires likely played a role in what the Kamloops RCMP Superintendent calls the busiest three months he's seen since his arrival.

RCMP officers and city officials met for a quarterly coordinated enforcement task force meeting today, Oct. 30, where Kamloops RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller discussed the high number of calls police faced in the past three months.

"By far this quarter was the busiest we’ve faced since my arrival," he said. "We’ve spoken a lot about 2016 as being a bit of an anomaly year for a number of reasons and certainly this quarter was... a bit of an anomaly as well."

Mueller said a number of factors including an unprecedented wildfire season and the ongoing opioid crisis in the province contributed to a high number of calls for RCMP service.

Compared to the same time period in 2016, calls for service increased by three per cent, Mueller said. The detachment also deployed more than 50 members to the Elephant Hill wildfire over the summer.

"Normally in Kamloops, we have a lot of people leaving the city and going to other areas, but certainly this summer was the opposite," Mueller said. "We had a large influx of people."

Mueller was vocal this past summer about the impact the thousands of evacuees in Kamloops had on calls for RCMP service. 

According to the quarterly statistics, property crime was down 1.4 per cent from July to September compared to the same time in 2016. 

However, break and enters reported at residences increased by more than 25 per cent, with 16 additional files reported. But property crimes such as business break and enters, and other break and enters decreased.

From July to September, police completed 66 breach files, many of which were generated as a result of curfew breaches by prolific offenders, priority offenders and youth at risk, according to the report. 

More than 840 street checks were also conducted during the quarter, and the report stated that this makes up 42 per cent of all street checks in the Southeast District. It's also one of the main ways police learn of new people in the community, which proved important during the wildfire season, according to the report.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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