Williams Lake RCMP to develop domestic violence section

While most crime rates in Williams Lake are lower than they were in 2008, domestic violence is on the rise.

While most crime rates in Williams Lake are lower, in some cases considerably lower, than they were in 2008, domestic violence is on the rise.

“We’re going to be a little more deliberate with our attempts to deal with domestic violence and are going to have one constable here in Williams Lake develop a domestic violence section,” said Insp. Warren Brown during a first quarter and RCMP annual performance plan report at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.

“That person will liaise with other programs in an attempt to be more focused and pro-active with some things we can do. We are altering our victim services with a number of volunteers right now, the first time we’ve done that in a number of years,” Brown said.

Coun. Laurie Walters pointed out that domestic violence is on the rise in the province and in North America.

“It was interesting because we know it’s high here, but it’s also high in other communities,” Walters said.

Brown said he truly believes it’s also becoming more frequently reported than it was in the past.

During the presentation, he showed graphs comparing crime rates between Jan. 1 and April 30 of the years from 2008 through 2012.

In 2012 there were 10 auto crimes, compared to 85 in 2008. There were 25 break and enters of homes compared to 53 in 2008, four break and enters to businesses compared to 27 in 2008, 29 domestic violence incidents compared to 23 in 2008, 138 mischief crimes compared to 213, and three robberies with violence compared to nine in 2008. The number of calls for service was down as well — just under 2,500 compared to 3,500 in 2008.

The calls for service have remained lower the last two years than they’ve ever been; however, Williams Lake is still in the top three for calls for service in the province.

When it comes to break and enters of homes, Brown told council he’s concerned there have been 25 already.

“As we speak, people from our general investigation unit are out arresting people and retrieving property stolen over the weekend,” Brown said.

He said most robberies are related to drug activities, so one of the priorities of the RCMP is to aggressively target known drug dealers.

Priorities outlined for the next year include continuing to improve and enhance police and aboriginal relationships.

“We have a high turnover of police officers here so we endeavour to have our police officers engage themselves in a host of activities in First Nations communities,” Brown explained. “For example, we had a few of our officers out in one of the communities last week for a sweat.”

Based on the needs of aboriginal communities, the RCMP may also be invited to speak on education and awareness around issues of gang violence.

Unfortunately, Brown said, the school liaison worker has been removed and transferred to the district marijuana team.

To compensate, the city’s schools have been assigned to all four watches and each watch devotes time to the schools.

When asked by Walters if the school liaison position is gone forever, Brown said it’s a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“With increased drug activity and the number of marijuana grow-ops, we’re the squeaky wheel in the Cariboo to get the team started two and a half years ago. We’re still committed to seeing that through and I’m not sure how long that will go on for, but I would suggest it will go forward until such time as we feel we’ve made a big difference.”

By assigning the watches themselves with a greater role of liaising with the schools, Brown suggested it might mean that the RCMP are better represented in the schools.

The RCMP continues to apply for grants through the National Crime Prevention Centre, and to develop its community policing programs, and engage youth.

“We recently met with the junior council to pick the brains of the young people,” Brown said.

Continuing to focus on safer communities, by engaging in “good, old-fashioned police work,” the RCMP also reaches out to prolific and chronic offenders to sincerely try and assist them and see if there’s something in the environment they can control.

“Most often they won’t take that help.”

Compared to other jurisdictions, Williams Lake has a number of junior officers — nine out of 40.

“A good portion of the local RCMP strategy is to focus on training those junior officers, whether it be teaching them how to capture intelligence through social media or how to recruit human sources.

“Just to give them the tools that make them more sophisticated,” Brown explained.

When asked by Coun. Danica Hughes why the turnover is high amongst RCMP members in Williams Lake, Brown responded it is one of the busiest detachments with a high workload, challenging pace and exhausting.

“It’s not a desirable place to come to so we get cadets. Most cadets come and hone their skills and are then sought after by other areas in the province.

“This is a very good place to come and cut your teeth and become a very skilled and honed police officer.”

Coun. Geoff Bourdon asked about the percentage of crimes committed by repeat offenders compared to new offenders. He heard there are around 40 people who are demanding half of the police efforts in the community.

“There are some offenders who have had over 80 convictions,” Brown answered.

“For instance I’m aware of an individual, proven offender who no longer lives in our community. That person, maybe back in around 2007, may have stolen upwards of 300 vehicles.”

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

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen. (Patrick Davies photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile RCMP investigate theft at airport hangar, 88 other incidents

Incident is one of 89 calls attended by police from Feb. 17 to 23.

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

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

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Most Read