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Whistler RCMP setting priorities for 2014

Tackling ski rental theft on agenda



RCMP Inspector Neil Cross is looking for feedback on Whistler's policing priorities for the coming year.

Suggestions from the council table came from Councillors Jayson Faulkner and John Grills at this week's council meeting.

The former asked about police statistics around shoplifting. It's a subject close to Faulkner's heart as the former owner of Escape Route. National estimates, he said, put losses at three per cent.

"It is a loss that is not insignificant," he said.

Cross said there is a particular problem with ski rental thefts; the Whistler RCMP is working on initiatives to tackle the problem.

"It's a big hit, no question, for the local businesses," he added.

Grills, on the other hand, asked for information on after-hours vandalism — sprinkler heads destroyed, planters overturned on the routes out of the village from the bars and so on. Grills operated a village restaurant and said the late night vandalism plays a role in what operators put out in their storefronts.

The four 2013 policing priorities were: reduce drug abuse, reducing youth crime, reducing property crime, and having safer roads.

Cross will be back before council in the coming weeks for an update on local crime statistics.

Council also discussed the plan to put a new highway traffic light at Highway 99 and Alta Lake Road as not everyone is happy with it.

The new light will add to the highway lights at Creekside and at Bayshores, said Councillor Roger McCarthy, further adding to jams to and from the village.

"I'm not sure what the perfect solution is," he said.

His comments come after the question and answer period at Tuesday's council meeting where resident Steve Anderson asked if council had explored the costs of building an underpass at the location to separate the pedestrians crossing the highway to the bus stop, and the cars running at 80 kilometres per hour on the highway.

"I would really like to see some entertaining of that thought if possible," said Anderson.

General manager of infrastructure services Joe Paul said staff had looked at the costs of an overpass, but they were extreme.

Last week, Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she expects the new light will be installed in the summer to address the safety issues at the intersection.