Calls for service to North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are up so far this year from 2018. See Page 3. Inspector Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said calls for service are up so far this year from 2018. (File photo by Don Bodger)

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP reports rise in calls for service

Increase of 4.6 per cent over same time last year

The 60 RCMP officers working at the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment appear to be kept on their toes.

The detachment responded to 6,049 calls for service in three months from April to June, for a total of 11,398 so far this year.

In 2018, there were 10,901 calls for service up to the end of June, which means the detachment has seen a 4.6 per cent increase in calls during the same time period this year.

In a his quarterly report to councils in Duncan and North Cowichan, Inspector Chris Bear said some of the increase in reported calls may be the result of new statistical record keeping at the detachment, but the statistics do indicate an increase in assaults, property crimes, drug charges and the impaired operation of vehicles.

“We are also seeing an increase in shoplifting and theft reports and we will be liaising with those affected businesses and discussing loss prevention in attempts to reduce these occurrences,” Bear said.

“False and abandoned 911 calls remain high while missing person investigations continue to be below past years. There has been a noted increase in spray painting and graffiti occurrences around the downtown Duncan and North Cowichan areas.”

Bear said substance abuse in the community has been made a priority by all members of the detachment given its severity to affect all types of criminal activity.

He said from April to June, police conducted 4,693 “hot spot” patrols, which are patrols of areas that are known for drug use and criminal activities.

“The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment continues to work closely with Island Health and the Community Action Team regarding the community’s social and economic issues,” Bear said.

“The City of Duncan approved a controlled substances property bylaw which was a welcome support to help deal with properties that have been used for the manufacture, storage or trade of controlled substances.”

From the beginning of April to the end of June, local RCMP responded to 244 calls for causing a disturbance, 317 mischief to property calls, 175 assaults, 154 shoplifting calls, 181 calls for theft over $5,000, 99 impaired while operating a vehicle, 134 drug possessions, 19 sex offences and 45 weapons offence calls.

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