News » Whistler

RCMP report says Pemberton drugs busts up

Aggressive driving a bigger issue than impaired driving



Drug busts are up and drunk driving is down in Pemberton. That’s the findings of an RCMP report presented to the Village of Pemberton’s mayor and council June 21.

Technically a quarterly undertaking, the report covered the period from Jan. 1 to May 31 and compared statistics for the same time period last year.

So far this year there have been 25 drug cases in the community, compared to 18 last year. However, clearance – a term pertaining to the exhaustion or conclusion of an investigation – has fallen from 78 per cent to 68 per cent.

Staff Sgt. Norm McPhail said some of the challenges in clearing cases can be attributed to the nature of policing in a small community.

"Sometimes when we’re working off of those kind of reports, we have information that we don’t act on because it could jeopardize someone’s personal safety," said McPhail. "We may know a lot more about what’s going on and not be able to prosecute."

Growing concern about marijuana grow-ops and the effect they have on homes where they are often housed led the VOP to pass a Grow Operation, Nuisance, Noxious or Offensive Trades, Health and Safety bylaw last January.

"The bylaw insures whoever has had a grow-op in the house has things they can do before they can rent it out," explained Sheena Fraser, VOP deputy clerk. "We have had no need to use it at this point."

The RCMP report also cited that impaired driving has fallen by nearly 60 per cent, down to 11 cases from last year’s 29.

"I think the presence of having people checked on the road is having a positive effect. Officers are doing between 450 and 500 checks of cars every month," said McPhail. "We just don’t seem to have the impaired drivers in Pemberton."

McPhail said the bigger issue in the community is aggressive driving, behaviour he characterizes as driving at high rates of speed, passing drivers incessantly, passing on double lines and generally inconsiderate behaviour.

"It’s all the things that demonstrate impatience behind the wheel in the effort to get nowhere fast," said McPhail.

In terms of issues on the horizon, McPhail sees drugs and substance abuse as the primary issue in the community.

"We have to be very cautious about the influence of drugs like cocaine, crystal meth and ecstasy, especially on youth," said McPhail.

He sees working as a community towards a closer relationship with the First Nations as essential to developing strategies on the social issues that challenge both communities.

Add a comment