While 2016 was a busy year for police in the Cowichan Valley, 2017 is starting out even busier.
Inspector Ray Carfantan, from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, told North Cowichan’s council on April 19 that local police have received six per cent more calls for service in the first three months of 2017 than in the same time period last year.
He said the detachment will require additional resources to manage the ongoing increase in calls.
Carfantan said a staffing analysis of the detachment is currently underway and is expected to be completed in May.
“It’s anticipated that the analysis report will be presented to the protective services committee in North Cowichan on May 16 with a recommendation to council for additional manpower,” he said.
“We currently have a total of 59 RCMP officers working when we are at full strength.”
Carfantan said the detachment has been experiencing increased demands for service since 2012.
He said a sharp increase of 15 per cent occurred in 2016, which resulted in 2,700 extra files as compard to 2015.
Carfantan said that the detachment has received 4,809 calls for service in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 4,535 calls in the same time period in 2016.
They include 92 assaults, 25 weapons offences, 12 sex offences, 37 break and enters, 89 causing a disturbance calls, and 53 for drug possession.
“Approximately 47 per cent of the calls we responded to were in the Municipality of North Cowichan, 24 per cent were from Duncan, 11 per cent from the provincial area and 13 per cent came from First Nations lands,” Carfantan said.
“A small number, five per cent, originated from people coming into the office directly.”