REPORTING · 23rd October 2013
Staff Sergeant Phil Harrison got up at the Regular Meeting of Kitimat City Council on October 21st to deliver his Monthly Policing Report for September.
He started his presentation by telling Council that they had a new member arrive in town. “On that note, right now, we have three vacancies. A Corporal’s position, a Sergeant’s position and a members position,” said Harrison.
He told Council the Corporal’s position would be announced shortly.
“Going into statistics now, this is kind of a good news, bad news type of thing. The good news is, we had 335 calls for the month of September and that is the lowest we had for the last 5 years for September,” said Harrison. “The bad news is, we have increased in a lot of our categories to the point where we’ve surpassed what the total was for last year already.”
Sexual Assaults are now at 13 for the year, in 2012, there were 12. Common assaults have almost doubled, from 96 in 2012 to 165 so far in 2013. Threats against persons are up in 2013 from 53 to 73. There have been 16 break and enters to businesses and 38 to residences. Both are up from 2012.
Thefts of Vehicles are at 34 in 2013 compared to 14 in 2012. He added the RCMP believe there are only a half dozen people who are responsible and they know who they are. There have been 195 Mischief to Property Complaints in 2013 which is up from 160 in 2012.
Many of the other crime statistics are still the same. Motor vehicle act tickets are less though, Harrison attributed it to being because they’re short staffed.
Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked if the reason for the increases was because there were more people in town.
“I think that is part of it. Of Course, when you get more people, you get more opportunities for crime to be committed. You have more victims as well. We have more people reporting it as well,” said Harrison.
Councillor Phil Germuth asked what the full compliment of RCMP is supposed to be. He was told it was 18, they are down to 15. Germuth asked how the shift work is divided. Harrison told him it was 40 hours per week. They have two officers on at night and three to four on weekends. They have 2 members and 3 supervisors on day shift.
Germuth wanted to know if anyone has been prosecuted on the break and enters to business. Harrison replied that he believes there are not any prosecutions but they know three people who are responsible for the break ins. One person has been caught and is no longer in town.
Finally, Germuth wanted to know if charges were laid in the assault against the owner of the Kitimat Hotel. Harrison said there were but he did not know what came of it.
Councillor Rob Goffinet asked about how many of the person crimes were liquor related. Harrison estimated 80% were liquor related. Goffinet inquired as to why shoplifting is so low. He was told it was most likely because shopkeepers were unlikely to spend the time to do something which would not go far in court.