It’s been a busy year for Terrace RCMP.
The area’s new inspector, Jayson Lucash, presented the annual and quarterly reports to council for 2018 on Jan. 23.
Crime statistics for 2018
Over last year, Terrace RCMP received 12,440 calls for service with 8,589 occurring within the City of Terrace — an increase of about 7 per cent from 2017.
“That’s about 250 files a week, which averages at 35 files a day,” Lucash says.
Terrace members also forwarded 725 cases to Crown Counsel for charge recommendations, a 12 per cent increase.
Break and enters into businesses, drug trafficking, harassment, fraud, and stolen property were among some of the crimes seeing increases beyond the five-year norm. Bike thefts saw the most change, increasing by 186 per cent from 23 in 2017 to 66 in 2018.
Break and enters into businesses increased by 27 per cent, drug trafficking by 14 per cent, harassment by 50 per cent, fraud by 10 per cent and 60 per cent in possession of stolen property. Sex offences increased by 19 per cent, property crime by almost two per cent, and provincial statute offences by 38 per cent.
Notable decreases in crimes include cases of kidnapping, which had gone down by 83 per cent with one instance recorded this year as opposed to six in 2017, and cases of robbery saw a 44 per cent decrease, from 9 in 2017 to 5 last year.
In the last quarter of 2018 RCMP investigated 2,143 files within the City of Terrace, a 14 per cent increase from the same time the year prior. Property offences made up 370 of the files, up 46 per cent, and bike thefts increased over this time period by 500 per cent, from two instances in 2017 to 12 during the last quarter. Assistance to the general public or miscellaneous offences rose from 449 last year to 568, an increase of 26 per cent.
Planning for 2019
The detachment is now prioritizing three areas of policing for 2019.
Addressing mental health and addictions through partnerships with external agencies, improving road safety by targeting impaired and distracted drivers, and more community outreach are priorities for the detachment moving forward.
The detachment also intends to reduce the level of family violence through partnerships and enforcement.
The Crime Reduction Unit was formed, and is comprised of two members focused on statistical ‘hot spots’ such as the downtown core, conducting foot patrols to enforce the Liquor Control Act (LCLA), Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) among others.
The unit has also met with the Terrace Downtown Beautification Association to discuss environmental options to prevent loitering in problem areas, and local banks to discuss solutions to prevent loitering in ATM vestibules.
In terms of manpower, the City of Terrace has requested three additional RCMP members to the province’s Ministry of Public Safety. In October, the city was told the letter had gone to the federal government.
“It’s in the works, but we knew full well that we wouldn’t get through the process in time to add anything to the budget for 2019,” says Heather Avison, city chief administrative officer.
Campaign, community events
Terrace RCMP participated in enhanced enforcement in road checks to monitor driver sobriety, safety and licensing. Fourteen drivers were taken off the road and another three were unlicensed or prohibited from driving.
“This was the first enforcement campaign since the legalization of cannabis, and several drivers and vehicle occupants were issued tickets in violating of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act,” Lucash says.
RCMP members also partnered with Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement, ICBC, ad the Ministry of Highways for winter tire safety checks prior to the first snowfall.
Terrace RCMP also participated in the 8th annual Cram-a-Cruiser event which resulted in more than 5,000 pounds of food and over $2,000 donated to local area food banks.
The 10th annual Guns & Hoses hockey event between Terrace firefighters and police officers raised over $12,000 for Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart for Kids program. The Terrace firefighters hosed down the Terrace RCMP with a stellar 8-4 victory.
“We won’t talk about what the score was,” Lucash joked.
The detachment also participated in Remembrance Day parade and ceremonies, Halloween Safety tips in local schools, and gave out more than 200 crime prevention notices to drivers for locking up their vehicles.