Crime down in the Boundary after series of arrests in 2010
Crime rates in the Boundary region are some of the lowest in B.C. said an annual report to city council from the Boundary Detachment of the RCMP. Staff Sergeant Jim Harrison was at Grand Forks council meeting on Tuesday to provide his yearly update on services. Harrison’s report covered off crime rates, staffing levels, successes for the year and community policing efforts. Despite staff shortages early in the year, Harrison said that they were able to target prolific offenders and knock back crime as a result. “Quite frankly we had a very difficult summer, last summer, with the resource shortages that caused some significant issues for us,” said Harrison. “I’m very pleased to say that that problem has been rectified and the detachment is now at full strength.” Between the two offices for the region, Midway and Grand Forks, during the spring and early summer the detachment was down four officers. Harrison said they are pleased to be back up to normal levels and three new officers have come into the area. There will also be a reserve constable back at Christina Lake to assist during the busy summer months, added Harrison. One of the highlights for 2010 was a series of warrants for stolen property and drugs executed between September and December that lead to the arrest of several known dealers. “In September when we got back up to full strength immediately we started taking some pretty strong enforcement action in regard to traffickers and methamphetamines in this community,” explained Harrison. “Four of them were sentenced to jail time and noticeably, after that occurred; property crime in Grand Forks went down significantly. The same thing happened throughout the Boundary area.” Boating offences were also targeted with the extra policing at Christina Lake last summer resulting in 110 files for vessel check and infractions which previously had been very low due to a lack of available officers. In the community, the RCMP are also active supporting citizens on patrol groups in Grand Forks and Christina Lake, participating in the restorative justice program, working to develop a new partnership to create a multi-agency sexual assault investigation team and Harrison said they would be supportive of a rehabilitation centre in the area. “I’ve actually seen cases where we should have never taken a charge to criminal court however, because of the lack of facilities and treatment centres in the area we’ve had to take it to court and get the court to order treatment and have the person sent out of the community,” commented Harrision. “Sometimes that’s the only tool that we’ve got. I certainly support council’s efforts in approaching Interior Health to recognize that we need something in this region. A lot of times the only tool left on our belt is enforcement…which is a poor replacement for proper treatment.” Primary objectives for 2011 are to strengthen efforts with border enforcement and intelligence, and targeting prolific offenders and methamphetamine and cocaine dealers. “Our plans for the coming year – basically we’ll be concentrating on prolific offenders. Twenty percent of the criminals are doing 80 percent of the crime. Those are the people we’ll be targeting,” added Harrison.
Watch the video for Staff Sgt. Harrison’s report to council.