Queen Charlotte RCMP Sergeant Neil Hogg made a presentation to Queen Charlotte council on April 17.
The Queen Charlotte RCMP are now back at full staffing levels after a fairly long period with only two constables on Graham Island and one based in Sandspit. Since December 2005, two more members have joined the force and Sgt. Hogg says the most junior constable on the force has more than five years of experience.
“A lot of detachments have more junior service,” he says.
He is also recruiting a corporal who will fill in the function of supervisor of investigations.
Sgt Hogg described the call statistics on criminal code offences gathered by the detachment.
The number of calls made to the detachment about criminal code offences dropped by 27 per cent in 2005 compared to 2004, and the trend is continuing in 2006.
Sgt. Hogg said part of that is focused enforcement. His officers have been focusing on enforcing probations and release conditions.
There are still a lot of crimes against persons that go unreported, he said. To this end, the detachment has teamed up with support agencies like the Victim Assistance Program and the women’s shelter in Skidegate to look for ways to increase the amount of reporting.
The RCMP’s greatest focus is with the youth, he said. There are several programs in the schools. One is an anti-bullying program and the other is called D.A.R.E., which helps to develop healthy lifestyles.
The detachment is also targeting substance abuse and has seen an increase in drug-related charges this year.
Sgt Hogg said he needs the community’s help in getting timely information about drug crimes. He admitted it may be frustrating when community members see no action, but the rules for investigating are very strict.
He receives a lot of tips, but they are mostly about historic events. He encourages the community to phone in drug-related issues right away, so the police can execute search warrants immediately.
Although the statistics pale in comparison to other communities, “they are not where they should be,” said Sgt. Hogg.
He hopes to boost border patrols and put more focus on keeping an eye on international visitors who have not cleared Canadian Customs. The officers will also enforce boat safety regulations.
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