Powell River RCMP had a busy year last year, evidenced by the 13 per cent increase in calls for service for 2019.
According to staff sergeant Rod Wiebe, Powell River detachment personnel responded to 6,501 calls for service in 2019, up from 5,750 in 2018.
“The crime severity index has also increased this year to 81, which is above the Canadian average of 75,” said Wiebe. “Crime has increased in Powell River; it just isn't a perception. Statistical reporting methods have changed how we report crime to Stats Canada and this has added to our increased crime rate.”
Wiebe said overall, property crime is up over 75 per cent and persons’ offences are up more than 80 per cent.
“We are still reviewing the numbers and will be creating a crime reduction strategy in consultation with our community partners,” said Wiebe.
In response to a study from the Angus Reid Institute, which shows that confidence in the RCMP and local police forces continues to decline, Wiebe said he takes the trust issue very seriously, because without it, the RCMP would be a very ineffective police service.
“If any Powell River resident has a reduced trust in the local detachment, I would very much like to have a conversation with them to explore ways to move forward and regain that trust,” said Wiebe. “In the coming months, community consultations will be taking place to set priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.”
Presentations to local governments and ratepayers’ associations take place in February and March and the public is welcome at any and all presentations, said Wiebe.
“If there is a community group out there that would like its own presentation or a one-on-one meeting, we can also facilitate that,” he added. “Ultimately, we are your police service and anytime a resident would like to discuss policing issues, my door is always open.”