Cases to make dent in cocaine, crack trade

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are hoping they are in the process of clearing some serious ongoing problems from their communities.

Staff Sgt. Jack McNeill gave some details in his quarterly report to North Cowichan council May 7. "We currently have before Crown Counsel a couple of very serious drug trafficking charges that have not been made public. We are very optimistic that when this news comes out and makes its way through the courts we think this will make a significant difference in the drug trade in our area, especially cocaine and crack cocaine," he said.

The report he gave covers the first three months of 2014 and while at first blush there is more positive than negative in the crime statistics, one area stands out.

"We have had a real spree of crime from garages and sheds. I don’t know if it’s because it’s spring but people were having their chainsaws and lawnmowers stolen.

Numbers show 18 incidents in the first quarter of 2014.

"We are attributing that to a couple of candidates on our prolific offender list. Two of them were sentenced to lengthy jail periods and one of them upon his release has a no-go Vancouver Island condition by the courts. That’s a win for us," said McNeill.

"We like to see them change their ways, we offer them treatment for substance abuse but if they choose not to go, then there is incarceration or they simply move away. As much as we don’t like displacing a particular problem, if a person is not prepared to shape up, then they can ship out. That is what has happened with two of our most active offenders. You’ll see numbers go down because they are simply not active on the street," said McNeill.