Police work continues to get busier for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment in 2017.
Overall, the detachment has seen a six per cent increase in calls for service in the first six months over the same period last year, according to RCMP Inspector Ray Carfantan.
In a report, Carfantan told North Cowichan’s council earlier this week that from January to June, 2017, calls for service at the detachment equalled 10,194 calls, compared with 9,643 calls in 2016.
Those calls include 135 disturbances, 101 breaks and enters, 80 for drug possession, 78 assaults, 39 non-fatal car crashes with injuries and 29 weapons offences.
To keep up with the growing demands on the 59 RCMP officers currently at the detachment, North Cowichan agreed last month to pay for one more officer, starting in 2018.
Carfantan has asked for four additional officers.
“The commitment of council to support additional municipal resources is a good start,” Carfantan said.
“We will continue to seek additional provincial resources going forward.”
The costs for policing in the Valley are shared between North Cowichan, the City of Duncan and both senior levels of government.
Carfantan said that in the first six months of 2017, approximately 47 per cent of the calls the detachment responded to were in the Municipality of North Cowichan, 23 per cent came from within the City of Duncan, 10 per cent came from the provincial area and 15 per cent came from First Nations lands.
A small number, five per cent, originated from people coming to the detachment directly.
Carfantan told council that the detachment’s crime reduction strategy has also broadened its scope.
He said RCMP officers are working together with the Crown, correction officials and other community partners to formally identify prolific offenders in the Valley and actively engage with them at every opportunity.
This includes “proactive” curfew and probation checks on local offenders who have already been through the judicial process to encourage compliance with court conditions and curtail criminal activity.
He said transient prolific offenders, those identified as passing through the community or who suddenly appear out of nowhere, are being encouraged to “continue their travel”.
As well, Carfantan said an Inter-agency Case Assessment Team, which deals with high risk domestic violence incidents, is currently working in the detachment.
An ICAT is a partnership of local agencies, including police, child welfare, health, social service, victim support and other anti-violence groups.
This team collaborates and is intended to respond more effectively to what are considered to be the highest risk domestic violence incidents in the area.
He said the ICAT has received six referrals in the second quarter of 2017, with four deemed as high risk.