Insp. Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/DUNCAN RCMP detachment, said calls for service have been down during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Insp. Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/DUNCAN RCMP detachment, said calls for service have been down during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP report calls for service down due to pandemic

But sex offences, arsons and drug offences are up

The Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP unit is reporting significantly less calls for service since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In his quarterly report to the City of Duncan’s council, Insp. Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said that there has been about a 12 per cent decrease in calls for service since 2020 began.

He said the detachment received 20,869 calls for service so far this year, down from 23,679 over the same period in 2019.

“We have seen significant decreases in most areas, however we see some slight increases,” Bear said.

“Sex offences are up to 22 reports from 18, arsons are up to eight from six. Drug possession, impaired operation and 24-hour suspensions are up. This can be attributed to higher proactive officer time, increased traffic enforcement and check stops, and the regular patrols and enforcement for drug usage along the identified safety corridor.”

Bear said that after all of the changes brought on by the pandemic, the RCMP began to see some normalcy restored to operations and re-opening of businesses during the third quarter, from July through August.

“The summer typically sees an increase of calls for service, however given the pandemic, a number of large outdoor events, like music festivals, that typically happen did not occur, thus having less of a draw on policing resources,” he said.

RELATED STORY: 200-PERSON PARTY IN COWICHAN PROMPTS POLICE WARNING

“The community continued with the established campsites and hotel rooms for many of the Valley’s less fortunate. This has been realized as a much-needed service, which has had a positive outcome for both clients and community. These sites did not generate any notable increase in calls for service and, overall, policed themselves.”

Bear said that in March, the Warmland Community Policing program for the area was put on hold as a result of the pandemic.

“The program is also going through some restructuring at this time and will, hopefully, be up and running in the near future,” he said.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY’S RCMP TESTED BY HEALTH CRISIS

Bear said in September, the detachment teamed up with Shawnigan Lake RCMP, Lake Cowichan RCMP, Traffic Services, BC Parks, BC Conservation Service and the Cowichan Valley Regional District to deter unsanctioned campouts and parties in the Valley.

“Typically, the parties are large in size with numerous underage youth consuming drugs and alcohol resulting in increased calls for service and higher risk of impaired driving, crimes against persons and health and welfare of the individuals,” he said.

“An awareness and prevention campaign took place with School District 79 and students and families. Patrols and enforcement were conducted and, as a result of the combined messaging and patrols, this was a non-event compared to years past.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Police

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read