In recent weeks, there has been 10 break and enters to businesses, Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley told city council during its committee of the whole meeting on Valentine’s Day.
“That’s a substantial increase and a glaring concern for us so we are looking at some strategies in respect to that,” Pelley said.
Presently the detachment does not have a police dog, which makes it difficult to track individuals if by chance they were on foot when the crime occurred.
“We have a police dog handler coming who is in the process of selling her house in the Lower Mainland, to replace the one who just retired,” Pelley said.
Overall, however, the lakecity is seeing a decline in crime, Pelley said as he shared crime statistics comparing files in January 2017 to January’s stats from previous years, noting the detachment has refined its reporting to include statistics and crime trends over the past five years, rather than continuing to use comparisons with 2008, which was a high year of crime.
During the month of January 2017, the detachment received 649 calls for service compared to 730 calls for service in January 2016.
There were seven thefts of vehicles compared to 17 thefts of vehicles. January 2017 saw six thefts from vehicles, while during the same month in 2016 there were 14 thefts from vehicles.
Break and enters to residences in Jan. 2017 totalled seven one more than occurred in the previous year.
Break and enters to businesses were up with three in 2017 during the month of January, compared to zero the year before.
In reporting crime stats, the detachment is now breaking down assaults into different categories, Pelley noted.
“We separated those further to assaults with a weapon or causing bodily harm and aggravated assaults, which are different, obviously, given the severity of those persons offences, and then we can dive into those offenders that we most likely know are responsible for those offences, which again do contribute to driving up our crime severity index,” he said.
January 2017 saw five spousal assaults compared to nine in January 2016. There were three assaults causing bodily harm compared to four the year before, and zero aggravated assaults compared to one in the previous year.
There were 17 mischief files in January, compared to 53 in January the year before, one robbery compared to zero in the previous year, and 25 false alarms compared to 27 false alarms in January 2016.
Security cameras for Williams Lake
The RCMP continue to try and find a surveillance camera for use in Williams Lake.
“We need a product that a member can stand up in court and say this is Joe culprit,” said the RCMP manager of community safety Dave Dickson said.
They tried one camera, but it could not provide clear photographs so it was returned.
“It slowed the process, yet they are demonstrating the capability of the camera and we are able to see the product before the system is in place or the money is invested,” Pelley said. “I think that’s very important.”
Dickson said he and Pelley are away next week, but after they return they will contact the companies again and hopefully will have an update for council.
“The new ones show a good quality picture but what we are running into is when you zoom in it becomes more pixilated,” Pelley said. “We have to find that definitive balance so we can have a good product right from the get go.”
Privacy issues and seeking a legal opinion would have to be considered, Pelley said, but noted he has seen live streaming cameras installed in other communities.