Skip to content

Cowichan Valley police see surge in calls for service

RCMP receive four per cent more calls than last year

While the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment had an extremely busy 2016, the first nine months of 2017 have been even busier.

Inspector Chris Bear told North Cowichan’s council on Nov. 1 there has been a nearly four per cent increase in calls for service over the same period in 2016.

“The detachment will require additional resources to manage the ongoing increase in calls for service,” Bear said.

“The commitment for council to support additional municipal resources is a good start and we will continue to seek additional provincial resources going forward.”

After similar requests were made earlier this year by Inspector Ray Carfantan, the former head of the detachment, who had informed North Cowichan that up to four additional officers need to be added to the detachment to keep up with increasing demands, council agreed to fund one new officer in 2018.

That would bring the number of police officers the municipality is responsible for from 31 to 32 officers in the detachment, which currently has 59 officers when at full strength.

The province and the City of Duncan are responsible for funding most of the rest of the officers at the detachment.


Coun. Al Siebring asked Bear if he had any indication that the province was seriously listening to the detachment’s requests for more resources to handle the increased demands at the detachment.

Bear said the new district commander for the region has made a commitment to advocate for additional resources.

“I’ve written a letter [to the province] as well,” he said.

Bear said during the three-month period from July through September, the detachment received 5,436 calls for service, compared to 5,403 calls during the same period last year.

They include 260 mischief to property calls, 153 for theft under $5,000, 123 shoplifting calls, 116 disturbance calls, 103 for breaches of the peace, 100 assaults, 81 for drug possession and 41 for non-fatal crashes resulting in injury.

“The detachment has experienced a steady increase in the file load from 2012 to 2015, for a total increase of 12 per cent over that time period,” Bear said.

“A sharp increase of 15 per cent occurred in the 2016 file load, which resulted in 2,700 additional files when compared to 2015.”

Bear said that during the first nine months of 2017, there were 15,629 calls for service compared with 15,047 calls during the same time last year.

Approximately 48 per cent of the calls so far this year came from North Cowichan, 21 per cent from Duncan, 15 per cent from First Nations lands, 11 per cent from the provincial area and five per cent originated from people going to the detachment directly.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
Read more