File Photo (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)

File Photo (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)

Creston RCMP Report: An overview of the last year

Recently, the Creston RCMP presented a report to town council with an overview of the last fiscal year, which ran from April 2020 to March 2021.

Detachment Initiatives and Progress

1) Crime reduction through the enforcement of drugs and organized crime with intelligence led policing. Officers have been working with sources and partners to identify drug trafficking and prolific offenders. There was also some recent successes in border drug running and local drug dealing prosecutions.

2) Increase visibility through patrols. In the past year, policing hours have been extended to work towards this goal. They have also obtained a new boat for marine patrols and are working with US border partners and the Integrated RCMP border team to identify illegal activity.

3) Build positive relationships and communicate effectively with schools and the community. Unfortunately, public relations and in-person events have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Calls For Service

  • In 2019, a total of 3,349 calls for service from January to December
  • In 2020, slight increase to 3,464 calls from January to December. 1,739 were municipal and 1,725 were rural

Call Trends

A number of calls increased in the past year, including:

  • Mental health calls up by 13 per cent
  • Sexual assaults up by 72 per cent.
  • Assaults up by 13 per cent.

There was also an increase in COVID-19 related calls for service, including enforcement of the Provincial Health Order with weekly protests in Creston.

Major Investigations

  • Attempted murder (stabbing) – Creston
  • Double homicide – Highway 3 – West Creston
  • Double shooting with injuries – Crawford Bay
  • Shooting at residence – Creston
  • Serial sexual assault – Creston, Lister

Challenges

Current world events have created challenges for all police jurisdictions, including:

  • Increased mental health and addictions calls
  • Public scrutiny and negative perceptions of the police
  • Increased internal scrutiny resulting from recent reports on harassment and racism in the RCMP
  • Officer health and wellness (no officers in Creston have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past year)

Future Directions in 2021

“Our priorities will focus on core policing duties and the quality of investigations, due to recent increases in serious crime and resource challenges,” said Staff Sergeant Ryan Currie.

Going forward, the Creston RCMP will be focusing on their core policing duties. They will ensure that calls are referred to the appropriate agencies.

To manage the increase in mental health-related calls, the RCMP is considering a mental health partnership strategy initiative to better manage the calls and resource demands.

“Enhanced” policing duties will be limited due to decreased resources and time. If in-person events do return in 2021 once the pandemic recedes, the Creston RCMP will have resourcing challenges to meet the needs of increased policing pressures.

– Information courtesy of Staff Sgt. Ryan Currie of the Creston RCMP

Creston Valley