More spare time gives Kitimat officers chance to crack down on drugs

Drug files rose in 2014 over 2013, but officer time to dedicate to those files reason for rise, says detachment, not more drug.

It’s been a mixed bag of local crime over the year, where there’s been a dip in some but notable increases in some.

One area that’s seeing growth: possession of cocaine.

Staff Sergeant Phil Harrison presented council with the  December statistics, which also reveal how the year compared with 2013, and drug files were on the rise.

Cocaine saw seven more files in 2014 than it did in 2013. There were two extra cases of trafficking cocaine over 2013 as well, nine in 2014.

Marijuana possessions were also on the rise, although only marginally, with two more cases, 36, in 2014 than in 2013.

While there was no ecstasy possessions in December, the year did close with two files for 2014. There were none in 2013.

Even with those statistics and a few others up, the Kitimat detachment’s staff sergeant, Phil Harrison, isn’t suggesting there’s a drug trade on the rise in Kitimat.

In fact the truth is rather more optimistic than the numbers may explain.

“When they [officers] don’t have to burden themselves with carrying out investigations they’ve more free time so they can do those kinds of things,” he said, referring to a drop in police calls that require dedicated investigations.

“As calls requiring investigation decline, it leaves more time for members to increase patrols and self generate files such as traffic and drugs,” Harrison explained via e-mail. “Also, as members gain experience, they also gain a confidence to generate those types of files. Two years ago we had seven members transfer out and were replaced mainly with recruits straight from Depot. Those members are now more experienced and it is showing in the increased liquor, drugs and traffic stats.”

Harrison also says a number of experienced members had transferred to the detachment in recent time which may also contribute to the increased in drug statistics.

There were a few other file increases in 2014 too.

Shoplifting perhaps saw the most dramatic rise, finishing 2014 with 19 files, against just six in 2013.

From that 19, four were food-related items, and five were to do with liquor. The remaining files were a mish-mash of various products.

Harrison said for the most part the shoplifting files are all being done by the same people, a group of about four or five people.

“The same three or four [people], and they’re people from in town,” he said.

Sexual assaults were up to 18, more than the 14 from 2013. Harrison explained in his presentation to council that investigations resulted in 11 of those cases being unsubstantiated.

For thefts over $5,000, there were four for the year, however two files involved relatives while another involved a landlord dispute.

For files that have dropped, there were 10 fewer threats against people this year, at 86 for the year. Common assaults are also down, to 185 from 220.

Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm also went down, to 26 from 34 the year prior.

Business break and enters were down, 11 files in 2014, and residential break ins dropped to from 45 to 31.


Just Posted

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

Shoes are being left at the viewpoint on Haisla Blvd in response to the 215 bodies discovered at the Kamloops Residential School. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Haisla Nation responds to 215 Indigenous children found buried at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School

“Many Haisla children were sent far away, to places such as Port Alberni, and to Coqualeetza”

Susan Jay hosted a plant and garage sale on May 25 and donated all of her proceeds to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to help with the purchase of a new bus for residents at Mountain View Lodge, Delta King and the new Kitimat Valley Housing Society dementia home. (Barbara Campbell photo)
KGHF thanks Susan Jay for her help to purchase a new bus for seniors in multi-level care

Susan donated all proceeds to KGHF, her efforts netted the hospital foundation a total of $1,760

An example of what a mural would look like on the back wall on Ron’s Bait and Tackle Store which faces the courtyard and sidewall. The mural photos shown here are mock-ups of existing artwork on walls of interest in the downtown core to build anticipation within the community about the concept of murals. The KPAA will not necessarily be using these locations or this artwork for the actual murals. (KPAA photo)
Kitimat Public Art Alliance mural funding request denied

D’Andrea suggested she will come back to the council at a later date with a more concrete plan

L-R: Vanessa Couto, Montana Murray, Connor Best, Dawn Best, Natalia Lopez, Thomas Walton, and Charlotte Collier partaking in the clean-up Kitimat campaign on May 28. (Katie Peacock photo)
Kitimat’s MStar Hotel brings out staff’s competitive clean-up side

The hotel staff circulated the Big Spruce Trailhead and picked up as much garbage as they could

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read