Ladysmith Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen spoke to Ladysmith Town Council about the RCMP’s policing priorities at the December 1 meeting of council.
Olsen said that the Ladysmith RCMP will be moving forward with traffic safety initiatives. The RCMP will also renew their focus on property offenses.
“Those seem to be our main crime type through the whole detachment area. Things like break-and-enters to businesses, residents, out-buildings. Theft from vehicles, and mischief to property. Those are the things we’re going to focus on, and come up with some strategies to combat that,” Olsen said.
A quarterly report from the Ladysmith RCMP found that in the third quarter of 2020, there were 20 break-and-enters; 12 thefts from vehicles, 13 thefts under $5,000, and 40 cases of mischief or property damage under $5,000. Reports from Q1 and Q2 of 2020 show similar statistics.
Councillor Duck Paterson asked if the Ladysmith RCMP have any plans to form a community policing group in Ladysmith. Olsen said that he has received communication from a number of people interested in forming block watch programs. He will followup with those people who are interested in setting up a block-watch program in their neighbourhood.
“The block-watch program is something we can certainly look into and initiate without much effort. It’s a community driven program, if you’ve got some motivated people it can be successful that way,” Olsen said.
Councillor Trisha McKay asked about whether the RCMP is partnering with the LRCA’s restorative justice program, particularly with a focus on the youth of Ladysmith. Olsen said that the RCMP is looking at ways to strengthen their relationships with local restorative justice programs, but said that Ladysmith’s teenagers are not committing many crimes.
“I’ve seen some mischievous type stuff, but I have not seen a lot of criminal activity from the teenager group,” Olsen said.
Councillor Johnson asked about how the Ladysmith RCMP are cracking down on speeders travelling along the highway through Ladysmith. Olsen said that having the South Island Traffic Services detachment nearby is a nice ‘bonus’ for the Ladysmith RCMP, and that traffic services does most of the traffic enforcement in the area.
“I know that the Davis Road intersection is problematic based on history, and just driving through the area and seeing people drive in front of people all the time,” Olsen said.
“I can certainly liaise with South Island Traffic and the Integrated Road Safety Unit out of Nanaimo to see about focused patrols in certain area. I know they like coming to our area anyway, especially the speed zone where it drops to 70 through the community. They’ve been quite active in that area, and successful in excessive speed enforcement actions.”