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REPORTING · 26th September 2013
Walter McFarlane

Staff Sargent Phil Harrison delivered the monthly Policing Report for August at the Special Meeting of Council on September 23rd.

Under detachment news, he expressed the cell block has been renovated and looks pretty good, although there is still some minor work. The next step is the camera system which needs to be put in next year.

At the end of this week, there will be fifteen members of the RCMP working in Kitimat out of the eighteen which they should have. They should have a corporal in the next two weeks but the sergeant’s spot is still vacant. It has not been posted. There is a member on paternity leave who will not be back until June.

A constable set up a booth at the bear aware event in August giving out stickers for the children. They went to the Kitimat Haisla Homecoming and most of the members were in attendance at the crab feast. He hoped there will be more participation in the community now they have more members.

Harrison went into the crime statistics. They had 467 requests for services which is down from June when they had about 500.

“A lot of the stats, I’ve notice that we are near or above the level that was obtained last year already. It is increasing somewhat in volume,” said Harrison.

He stated there were three sexual assaults reported in August, bringing the year to date total to ten compared to last year’s 12.

Common assaults were way up. There were 35 in August bringing the total to 141. In 2012 for the same month, they only had 14 and the total was 96 for the whole year.

Threats against persons had 7 incidents and for a total of 54 this year. Last year’s total was 63. Animal calls are down considerably. There were 5 break and enters to businesses, for a total of sixteen, which has doubled from last year’s 8 break and enters.

“I want to point out though that we believe that this is the major responsibility of maybe one or two people so we are aware of those people and we are trying to keep an eye on them and one of these days, we’ll get em,” said Harrison.

There were three break and enters to residences for a total of three for a total of 37. Last year, there were a total of 30. There were 30 incidents of mischief to property for 176 and in 2012, there were 160. Causing a disturbance has had 160 reports this year, compared to 165 total last year.

He also went through the drug statistics which were lower than the 2012 totals.

Councillor Phil Germuth asked about an incident a couple of months ago where a man was assaulted while getting out of a taxi cab at the Keg. “One: What kind of assault was that in here, aggravated, with weapon, causing bodily harm or common. And two, Have charges been laid and if so, do you know what the timeline is for that case, going to court, etc.,” asked Germuth.

He was told the last time the Staff Sergent checked, no charges had been laid; it would have been a common assault but it was classified as a robbery, as they stole a vehicle.

According to Staff Sergent Harrison, the question and the answer may have come from two different incidences.

"[I] thought he was referring to another totally unrelated incident where an individual was picked up by a taxi cab complaining of being robbed of his vehicle which was located a short time later, trashed. In the incident that Councillor Germuth was referring to at the Ol Keg, three males were investigated for aggravated assault when a male exited a taxi and was assaulted by 3 males. 2 of them have subsequently been charged for assault causing Bodily Harm and one male was charged with common assault. All three are awaiting court appearances," said Harrison in an email.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know if the three sexual assaults in August were new or historical. He said it was a topic of concern in the community in both social media and the news.

“They are assaults that are reported to us in that time frame, so if it happened in August and reported in the month of August, that is what is reported on the stats. Just because it was reported at that time, you are quite correct, I think one of them is actually a 15 year old sexual assault, a historical assault. I can’t comment on all of them because I don’t have my computer in front of me to be able to tell you that right now,” said Harrison.

Goffinet made sure he understood the level of staffing before asking how the Staff Sargent would characterize the high level of assaults.

“Most of the assaults which happen are alcohol related. They are occurring at our drinking establishments, they are occurring at person’s homes who are having parties. They are not happening in the middle of the streets or in our parks and that type of thing,” replied Harrison.

He stated he wants to increase the bar walks once his staffing is up and the RCMP are too busy with investigations for pro-active policing. He pointed out even if it took two weeks to announce the corporal or sergeant would be coming, it could take them three months to arrive in Kitimat. He expected to go through the wintertime three short.

Germuth had one final question. He wanted to know how often members had to go down to the camp to deal with issues. He was told once a month, to deal with the traffic going down that way.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan thanked him for his report and looked forward to the next one.
Ol keg
Comment by Mad citizen on 26th September 2013
Glad that the story is straight now!
Comment by Walter on 26th September 2013
I took another listen to what he said because something about my article didn't look right. He told Council it was the last time he checked on it that no charges had been laid. However, he did not say when the last time he checked on it was so I revised the article to correct that.
assault at keg
Comment by i . s. on 26th September 2013
so that assault that took place outside the keg that sent someone to the hospital with bad head injuries wasnt worth charging the perpitraters it was just a robbery, that doesnt sound right..
Answer to Phil's comment
Comment by Mad citizen on 26th September 2013
Just to clarify, for the incident outside the keg where a local man was brutally beaten, yes there were charges laid against three men. They have already had their first appearance