A snapshot of crimes and misdemeanors in the Pemberton area in 2011 was offered up by Sgt. Eric Rochette of Pemberton RCMP in the form of the detachment's year-end statistics at the district council meeting on Feb. 21.
Rochette, joined by Staff Sgt. Steve Leclair of the Whistler detachment, told councillors that the overall trend in crime was going down, especially in terms of acts of violence and in prisoners taken into custody.
The numbers of prisoners held at the Pemberton detachment dropped by half, from 463 in 2010 to 234 in 2011. These numbers included prisoners from the Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police, which has no prisoner facilities of its own, with the numbers dropping from 222 (48 per cent of prisoners held) in 2010 to 94 (40 per cent of prisoners held).
"The large number is related to liquor offences," Rochette said. "I tell my members that if they can find a family member (of the prisoner) to take control of that person they should do this."
Alcohol and other stimulant abuses were a constant problem, with 90 per cent of all crimes in the region carried out by an intoxicated person, Rochette added.
Common assaults in the Pemberton Valley, including domestic assaults, were down from 29 in 2010 to 18 in 2011. There were no assaults with a weapon or causing bodily harm last year compared with eight in 2010.
In terms of stealing, theft under $5,000 was virtually unchanged with 29 incidents in 2010 and 30 in 2011; theft over $5,000 jumped significantly with six in 2011 compared to one in 2010. Rochette said the majority of these items were heavy duty equipment, and four of the 2011 cases had been solved.
Theft of vehicles valued under $5,000 was cut by two-thirds from six to two; while theft of vehicles valued over $5,000 dropped from six in 2010 to one in 2011.
Drug offenses remained low, and Rochette said most arrests came when offenders were stopped for other reasons and then found to be in possession of narcotics. Possession of marijuana was static, with 15 arrests in 2010 and 16 in 2011; possession of cocaine fell from two arrests in 2010 to one in 2011; possession of ecstasy went from zero to one.
Motor vehicle accidents "saw a significant reduction," said Rochette. Incidents resulting in damage of over $1,000 dropped by more than half, from 45 in 2010 to 20 in 2011, while accidents resulting in non-fatal injuries fell from 16 in 2010 to 10 in 2011. There were no fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in either year. Impaired driving charges were fairly static with 14 in 2010 and 12 in 2011.
Total callouts for the RCMP dropped by 2.7 per cent, from 1,548 in 2010 to 1,506 calls in 2011. Forty-three calls were abandoned.
Responding to questions following the presentation, Rochette said there were no statistics on the success of Crimestoppers in supplying tips to the detachment but be believed there were few tips from that source. To the question of whether the Citizens on Patrol program would work in Pemberton, Rochette said 10 volunteers would be required to make it work, but at a 2009 meeting only four applied, so it never became established.
Students get $2,000 for basketball tournies
A delegation of four students from Pemberton Secondary School's boys and girls senior basketball teams spoke to the council in their team uniforms, telling councillors about their teams' successes of the season, which may lead to the provincial finals in March.
With the boys' provincial final in Langley and the girls' in Prince George, both teams requested $1,000 to help pay for the costs of attending. Three councillors passed the request, after Mayor Jordan Sturdy and Councillor Mike Richman recused themselves because they have family members involved.
Joint meeting between Pemberton and Mt. Currie councils
There will be a joint meeting between Pemberton and Mt. Currie councils on March 6 at the band office in Mt. Currie, say Sturdy. In his report to council, Sturdy added that a recent meeting between himself and the Lil'wat Nation's Chief Lucinda Phillips "covered a lot of common ground in a short period of time."