Tickets up, crime down in Cranbrook

RCMP present third quarter policing results to Cranbrook Council.

  • Nov. 28, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Lorne Craig and Cpl. Pat Prefontaine presented third quarter results for policing in Cranbrook to city council at the Monday meeting.

Prefontaine said in terms of school zone enforcement in the one month of school in session during the term, there were four speed checks. He said the officers found there was a high compliance rate in school zones, with only two tickets issued.

This year there have been about 22 road checks and 22 tickets issued.

“I think our motorists are kind of holding the line on going through school zones,” he said. “We’re expecting with the next quarter we should have our numbers up.”

He said there hasn’t been much change in pedestrian jay-walking. He said enforcement is likely not the answer, so RCMP are looking at public education with council’s help.

Prefontaine said the city division incorporated East Kootenay Traffic Services data as well in terms of distracted driving numbers, as they work in the city as well.

Together the two divisions have issued 95 distracted driving tickets in the city this quarter. He said that’s 63 per cent higher than expected.

“It’s not slowing them down, but I think like anything else the continued pressure is going to help,” he said.

Cranbrook RCMP have dialled back community patrols as the rural budget has taken a hit. So far there have been 24 for the year.

There have been five boat patrols.

“As with the school zones, we found a very high compliance with small vessel regulations,” Prefontaine said. “That was really nice to see as well. We also worked hand in hand with the Conservation Officer Service.”

Prefontaine said they are on track with the Healthier Aboriginal Communities Program. They planned for six presentations this year and are already at six.

In terms of reducing organized crime, Prefontaine noted 16 drug traffickers have been charged so far this year. In one case, Cranbrook police worked in conjunction with Crowsnest Pass RCMP to help on the case.

Mayor Wayne Stetski said it’s good to see that virtually all types of crime were down in the third quarter, with the number of tickets issued being the only thing that was up.

“It’s good to see the continued effort on drug traffickers and the number of drug traffickers that are being charged,” he said. “As everyone knows, drug crime leads to many other types of crime generally as well.”

Coun. Sharon Cross said she was happy with the way police handled the Nomad Motel incident.

“More often than not, reports of police intervention and sensitive issues surrounding people with mental issues or medical distresses often end badly for the victim, but RCMP were able to, most recently, deal very professionally and very compassionately with the situation and I commend you for the way you handled the situation at the Nomad,” Cross said. In the end no charges were laid.

Councillors also noted Prefontaine’s hair was dyed blond. He explained that it was part of a pledge to raise money for a Cranbrook constable who was diagnosed with leukaemia two years ago. He is now in chemo and so the detachment is doing pledges to present to Ferrier and family as early as this week at a public ceremony.