ROBERT BARRON CITIZEN
There has been a “significant” increase in calls for service from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment during the last three months.
Inspector Ray Carfantan told councillors in the Municipality of North Cowichan Wednesday that the detachment’s quarterly report states that the number of service calls increased 18 per cent from the same period last year.
He said the detachment received 4,535 calls for service in the first three months of 2016, compared to 3,850 in the same period in 2015.
Carfantan said if the trend continues, the detachment is in for an overall increase this year of almost 2,500 calls for service.
He said one cause for the increase in calls is the growing population in the region.
“We have also been very expressive recently about the fact that we want to be called (about crimes).” Carfantan said.
“We’ve been telling the public that when they have information that should be reported, it might be a small piece of a larger puzzle that’s important to us.”
“I think we’ve been successful in getting the message across that we want to hear from people, and I’m cautiously optimistic that’s the main reason we’re seeing such a jump in those numbers.”
Carfantan said the detachment has been able to effectively cover all the calls with its current staff levels.
The report indicates that there were 145 calls regarding crimes against people in the last three months, including 98 assaults, 22 weapons offences and 15 sex offences.
There were 655 calls regarding property crimes in the same time period, including 189 for mischief to property, 105 for shoplifting, 133 for theft under $5,000 and 121 for theft from vehicles.
There were also 35 vehicle accidents that resulted in injuries over the past three months, but there were no fatalities in any of them.