North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP talk school zones, traffic, thefts

Local Mounties have been right on top of criminal activity lately, Insp. Ray Carfantan told North Cowichan council in his quarterly report Sept. 3.

He said that quick action is helping to reduce property crimes in the municipality.

One of the reasons is that the perpetrators are known to police.

He gave the example of a ring of car thieves that came to the Valley earlier this year from the Nanaimo area.

“They were very prolific, stealing three, four, five cars at a crack,” he said.

But, once the RCMP discovered the situation, they got on it “and within an hour and a half had apprehended two people in two stolen vehicles in the area, bringing that spree to an end,” Carfantan reported.

“That type of offender coming into an area can cause a big spike in property crimes. They are generally addictive people who have other issues than the crime,” he added.

He also had some comments about traffic enforcement, referring to the South Island Traffic unit.

These are officers that “don’t work within our office, but are provincially funded resources that do come and work in this area. We try to maximize our visibility by bringing them in for special events. A real advantage to that program is that it’s all at no cost to North Cowichan,” he said.

Crash numbers are down in North Cowichan and traffic efforts are going to be focusing on the Trans Canada Highway now, Carfantan said.

The Inspector also pointed out that school zone speeds will only be strictly enforced during the strike in areas where schools are actually in session.

He pointed out that a survey of residents showed that what they want most from local police is visibility and now that 16 additional auxiliary constables have graduated from their training program, that is getting a boost.

The establishment of a bicycle-based crime reduction unit has also given the public the chance to feel that Mounties are out there ready to deal with crime even before it starts and the feedback to that group has been good, he said.