Kimberley RCMP have had a busy few months with traffic enforcement, festivals, and crime reduction.
Sgt. Chris Newel says that the detachment has done well with all of their strategic priorities this quarter, particularly traffic enforcement and impaired drivers.
“We’ve got some really good members out there on the road, and they are really cracking down on impaired driving,” said Newel, who presented his report to Kimberley City Council on Monday.
Newel adds that there hasn’t necessarily been an increase in impaired drivers, but rather, the detachment has been more focused on apprehending them.
“The traffic contacts for the quarter were 248 which is considerably higher than the average of 175,” Newel wrote in a report to Council. “There were 37 impaired drivers removed from the road, more than the whole of 2017 (35). In addition, there were 38 road checks, again more than 2017 (30).”
Councillor Darryl Oakley asked if there was one area that is more concentrated for impaired driving and/or road checks.
Sgt. Newel says that it is fairly random, and officers have been setting up road checks in various places throughout the community from Marysville to Townsite.
Speed Watch is also back for the season, says Newel. In June, volunteers were deployed three times at three different locations and over 1,600 vehicles went through.
Another strategic priority is public relations and visibility (traffic enforcement, foot patrol, school visits and bar checks). There were seven bar checks and 36 foot patrols, most of which were through the Platzl and occasionally in Marysville. 48 patrols were made to Wasa. Over the course of the school year the detachment conducted 94 school visits, from informal ones to class presentations.
“Foot patrols and bar checks are down from the last quarter but we are still maintaining a very strong presence,” Newel said.
In terms of crime reduction, Newel says despite some minor setbacks the Kimberley/Cranbrook unit is doing well.
“Kimberley has provided one member to the Cranbrook/Kimberley Crime Reduction Unit. He was seconded to the G7 summit for almost two weeks but is back now,” explained Newel, who adds that the unit targets prolific offenders in Cranbrook and Kimberley. “This unit has been operating for over five years and has been very successful.”
Newel says the detachment has been struggling with rescues for a few years, however that is being resolved. They are currently only short one member who is on a graduated return to work in the office.
Even though JulyFest was not part of the quarterly report, Newel spoke to the event at the Council meeting.
“There were a couple of disappointing incidents, but overall everyone did an amazing job and I’m quite pleased,” he said. “When you get that many people in town there are a lot of possibilities but most people were respectful.”
Councillor Sandra Roberts says that the members of the detachment have “an amazing demeanour” and made that clear at JulyFest.
“We are there to create a positive atmosphere,” Newel said. “If there is an issue we try to escort people out quietly and with no fuss.”
The detachment was called to investigate/attend 545 calls for service this past quarter, down 25 from the same quarter last year. Of those calls, the highest number was for traffic incidents/suspension (162). Other notable calls include property (45), abandoned 911 (43), assisting other agencies (30), and alarms (28).