Drug and human trafficking are rising concerns in lakecity

Volunteers continue to pour hours of time into community policing programs in Williams Lake.

Volunteers continue to pour hours of time into community policing programs in Williams Lake.

However, all the programs could use additional help.

Safer communities coordinator Dave Dickson told city council at its regular meeting Oct. 23, there are about 30 to 40 active members giving 1,200 hours of time to restorative justice, alone.

“We just finished a training session with more volunteers. Unfortunately we just get people up to speed and trained and they want to retire or move. It’s an ongoing thing. We’re incredibly grateful for them,” Dickson said.

Speedwatch volunteers have been partnering with the RCMP’s four auxiliaries and regular members.

“We’re out there, we’re creating awareness, but people sort of mock us because we don’t give out tickets. Surprise —news flash. We will have members periodically deal with the Speedwatch group and if you come zipping through, you may see a few officers step out and give out a ticket,” Dickson said.

A hot spot, Dickson added, is over by Marie Sharpe Elementary School.  “If you’re travelling through there, or any speed zone, please slow down. Our children are precious.”

Citizens on Patrol and the auxiliaries have also been partnering up to walk down streets where crimes occur, checking vehicles and letting vehicle owners know there’s been a spike in auto crime.

“We might tell them we notice they have a Dodge or Chevrolet truck and to make sure they keep it safe. We also tell that leaving valuables visible in a vehicle is a bad idea. We’ve had some very good feedback about it and I’m sure we will continue to make the patrols.”

Dickson recently returned from an international Crime Stoppers conference, and heard of ways to market and promote the program.

“To quote one of the superintendents of the RCMP who was there, Crime Stoppers is number three. Number one is fingerprints, number two is DNA, and number three is Crime Stoppers as the most effective tools for aggressive policing,” Dickson said.

One of the most troubling things Dickson heard at the workshop was the increase in human trafficking of children.

Drugs is still number one, but trafficking of children is rapidly going up.

“If we think we don’t have a problem in our community, we’ve got our heads in the sand. It is shocking what’s going on,” Dickson told council, adding he’d like to meet at another time and venue to further discuss the problem.

Business Watch continues to be active, and at the provincial level has realize it needs to ramp up its programs. “There are five Business Watch programs in the province and we’re bringing them together to share best practices so we can be more in sync. We don’t have to recreate the wheel in all five communities. I think you will see more tips and suggestions coming forward.”

Dickson is pursuing his level two in crime prevention and environmental design, which will enable him to work with some of his volunteers to give them the basis to go out and help home and business owners make their properties safer.

“Hopefully by the new year we’ll have a group of people ready to go,” Dickson said.

Operation Red Nose will run again this year, offering nine evenings of transportation during the holiday season beginning on Nov. 30. “We’ve been given the phone number 250-392-2222 this year so that’s bonus. We’ll be sending more information about the program later,” Dickson added.

Community policing board chair Andy Sullivan was among 100 to 200 people that attended a provincial Citizens On Patrol conference in Nanaimo two weeks ago.

“We heard the speakers from the RCMP talk about the new legislation around drinking and driving and how you can make your downtown less inviting for criminals,” Sullivan said.

Nanaimo has cleaned up its downtown and Sullivan said it’s a joy to walk through there now.

Social media was heralded as a means to share information with the public, and a session on recruiting and retention of volunteers, gave Sullivan lots to bring back to the COP program.

“It was a good opportunity to network with other groups about what they are doing. We have by far the best dialogue with the RCMP of anyone I talked to. I know that’s one of Warren Brown’s objectives — to have good dialogue between the COPs and the RCMP,” Sullivan said. Sullivan the other community policing programs such as Circles of Strength, working with families in reported cases of spousal abuse, Violence Awareness, Mounted Citizens on Patrol, Block Watch and Realty Watch also need more volunteers.

Anyone wanting more information can call Sullivan at 250-303-0298 or Dickson at 250-392-8701.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

The Fraser River is seen west of Williams Lake from Doc English Bluff Ecological Reserve. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Tsilhqot’in National Government appeals Gibraltar Mines’ permit to discharge into Fraser River

Permit amendments fail to adequately protect the environment and human health, says TNG

The Horsefly Community Hall will be the site of a mobile vaccine clinic March 19, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Six COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open in Cariboo Chilcotin

100 Mile, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, Williams Lake and Tatla Lake

A Williams Lake area family living on Knife Creek Road lost everything to a house fire on Wednesday, March 3. (Photo submitted)
House fire destroys rural family home south of Williams Lake

The Macdonalds built their home on Knife Creek Road about 30 years ago

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Public input sought for B.C.’s police act review

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read