Crime down in Cranbrook, RCMP reports

Cranbrook RCMP calls to service and crime generally is down when compared to the same January to March period last year.

Cranbrook RCMP calls to service and crime generally is down when compared to the same January to March period last year.

Cpl. Barry Graham presented the first quarter report for 2014 to city council on Monday, May 12.

Graham also spoke to the medical marijuana licensing, saying there are some issues with it. The new federal licensing laws came into place April 1, with the exception of the Supreme Court injunction that allows some people to continue growing their own medical marijuana. Graham said along with a prescription, the labels will now have to show the manufacturer and the doctor who prescribed it.

“There are different things that I would prefer not to discuss as to issues that may come up, and I don’t want to give people ideas right now,” Graham said. “Like any new legislation, or any new vehicle, there’s going to be some hiccups.”

Graham went on to point out that crime stats have been declining in all categories.

Person offences, which include things such as assaults, sexual assaults and robbery, were down 16 per cent to 100 in 2014, as compared to 119 at the same period in 2013.

Property related offences, which include offences like break, enter and theft, and mischief to property, were down 32 per cent, with 259 charges in 2014 and 379 in 2013 for the first quarter.

“I see that in a lot of other offences,” Graham said, noting the decline.

He said in Kamloops he was in charge of both the drug unit and the property crime unit.

“We worked hand-in-hand, everything carried over into each other,” he said. “We see that correlation.”

Other Criminal Code offences, a category that includes causing a disturbance, breaching bail violations and firearm offences, were down 54 per cent, with 50 in 2014, as compared to 108 in 2013.

Incidents of trafficking and possession of drugs listed under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act were also down. Total drug files (incidents) were down 43 per cent, with 31 in 2014 so far and 54 in 2013. Total drug charges were down by 17 per cent, with 10 in 2014 compared to 12 in 2013.

“The number of drug files are down, but the actual quantity and quality of drug busts are up,” Graham said, adding that last year’s stats included more lower-tier possession charges, while this year there have been more sizeable quantity trafficking charges laid.

“We’re down in reports as well which would be us responding to a lot of community complaints,” he said. “Because things have been a lot more proactive.”

Impaired driving offences were up, with 16 in 2014 and 11 in 2013.

“It doesn’t mean more people are drinking and driving, it just means we have been more successful with our investigations,” he said.

There were no fatal accidents in the time period for either year.

Traffic tickets and written warnings were up 57 per cent, with 121 in 2014 so far and 77 in 2013 up to this point.

Graham said nationally crime stats are on the decline.

“As an organization we’re recognizing more going beyond the offence and the bad guy and getting the bad guy in jail,” he explained. “Working with Street Angels, a lot of proactive stuff there. It’s taken a lot of our causing a disturbance and liquor law related things.”

He said in Kamloops he worked some high profile drug cases and usually when you take a leader in the drug world off the streets it causes a vacuum that someone else fills.

“Here it just seems like literally at times it’s dried up. That impacts just about every other area here,” he said. “People are not getting access to drugs as easily.”

He also noted that, in line with the more community-oriented policing mentality, the identification of mental health issues has also become better.

“There was a lot of people over the years that ended up in our jail that didn’t really have the mental ability to commit offences,” he said.