RCMP provides quarterly and annual report to council
Cranbrook RCMP Sgt. Chris Dodds last night presented the Detachment’s Mayor’s Report for the fourth quarter of 2019, including statistical data for the year.
One thing that “spiked” the sergeant’s interest while reviewing the figures was the 67% increase in reported frauds but noted it is mostly overseas phone frauds.
“We’ve seen a real big spike across the country in these kind of frauds, certainly targeting seniors,” he said.
Break and enters are also up eight per cent but Cranbrook isn’t as bad as other locales in the province, Dodds said.
“We’ve got a pretty low break and enter rate here, both commercial and residential,” he said.
“I do believe it’s both a combination we’re charging people more often with fail to appear and we’re following through with those charges and also they’re being approved by Crown to be charged.
Over the past five years the detachment’s calls for service are up about nine per cent, with officers responding to more than 800 calls over the previous year, which Sgt. Dodds equates to city growth, as well as more provincial statutes requiring attention and city bylaw calls.
Overall, calls for service were up 24% in the last quarter in the city and nine per cent rurally.
Coun. Wes Graham asked Sgt. Dodds if there is an “action plan” to deal with people being bothered and intimidated around the downtown Royal Bank.
“We do get a significant amount of calls for service for… people causing nuisances in some areas of the downtown core and other places in town,” Dodds said, noting when calls come in officers attend and “move those people along. There are certain enforcement actions we can take on people who are, I guess you could say, repeat offenders but… we don’t have a direct plan on” and concluded that the city isn’t dealing with anything “out of the ordinary” in that regard.
“I would say it is lower than what other places deal with,” he added.
That some people are hanging around “bank vestibules” is also often related to them being “warm and open” during the winter months, Sgt. Dodds pointed out.
Coun. Graham replied that he’s seeing more signs in banks and social media comments about loitering.
“If we wait for statistics we’ve waited too long. There should be some kind of re-focussing of out resources to take a proactive approach and have more RCMP on the beat, walking downtown around five o’clock and just doing patrols. It’s not like you’re out there to chase people away but that visible presence definitely is a deterrent and I am not seeing that. And I think we need to re-focus and look at providing that service to the downtown,” he stated.
Sgt. Dodds replied he’d bring it up with Detachment Commander S/Sgt. Barry Graham.
He also noted that “security for businesses is generally not a RCMP area; private businesses and places so we have to work with our businesses to come up with some plans.”
Police could also work on crime prevention methods and other ways with businesses to help reduce “people hanging about the front of businesses.”
In conclusion of the report, Mayor Lee Pratt thanked Sgt. Dodds for his “service to the community” as he is transferring to Revelstoke Detachment, likely in the spring.
Lead image: Sgt. Chris Dodds addresses council last night. City of Cranbrook photo