New unit, volume of calls on RCMP agenda: Carfantan

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP didn’t get the usual warm weather respite in crime last year.

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP didn’t get the usual warm weather respite in crime last year.

Insp. Ray Carfantan told North Cowichan council Jan. 20 that some years criminal activity fades with the warmer weather but this past year, that was not as noticeable.

“We didn’t have the tapering off in the off season,” he said.

His quarterly report to council also touched on a brand new unit.

One of the detachment’s new high profile sections — the Domestic Unit — is now part of a coordinated group, which targets the most active people, Carfantan explained. “The group is very new; it’s only been operating since September. We’re looking forward to seeing how it works.”

Carfantan said that the detachment had handled 4,300 calls and he is at present analyzing the figures to determine time spent and its effectiveness as well as where the calls are located in the coverage area.

Carfantan said it was important to ensure there are enough officers to allow some unallocated time in a day to deal with police work out among the population.

“If we spend all our time responding to calls, we’re not serving the community well. Also, it’s important to know how many officers are needed for each call.”

When councillors asked about some specifics from his report, Coun. Rob Douglas asked if most of the drug possession calls involved marijuana.

Carfantan replied that every drug is included in that grouping.

“We did have a mushroom operation we took down, too,” he said.

Douglas also wanted to know if Chemainus was still being hit hard by break-and-enter artists.

“Those are also spread throughout the area,” Carfantan said, but then explained, “When Nanaimo police get enthusiastic, the criminals come to Chemainus. Then we push back and it starts all over again. Those figures tend to go up and down.”

Coun. Joyce Behnsen asked if vehicle thefts were on the increase but Carfantan said the detachment has been busy.

“One of the people we have in custody was a particularly active car thief,” he said.