For the first time since the ‘90s, the 100 Mile House RCMP is receiving a new officer position.
Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen said the North District senior management team really fought for the additional manpower. The recruit will be fresh from the academy and is expected to arrive near the beginning of March.
“It’s a significant thing here since it hasn’t occurred here since the ‘90s,” Nielsen said. “He’s excited to be here and is looking forward to coming up.”
This new appointment comes after a busy year for the RCMP, who opened close to 5,300 files, which Nielsen said he has never seen in 100 Mile. Traffic-related calls were especially high this year, including a marked increase in impaired driving offensives which have “gone through the stratosphere.”
“I think the number of calls is just due to a little change in how things operate. The file totals have been trending upward since I arrived here and we had a huge jump in 2018 in particular,” Nielsen said. “It’s due to the population increase. When you have different dynamics coming to the area you bring new potential criminal elements as well so I think there’s a definite growth in our community as a result.”
Seasonal break-and-enters, usually a major concern, trended downwards throughout the year, something Nielsen attributes to people staying home more due to the pandemic. That being said, those they did see tended to involve the theft of “big-ticket items” such as RVs, boats and quads.
Nielsen said domestic crimes were at their normal levels but involved more verbal domestic calls, or people arguing, than physical violence. Mental health calls and well-being checks were also higher than normal, likely due to the pandemic and last November’s flooding.
The most high-profile incident occurred in March when the RCMP were involved in a multi-jurisdictional high-speed chase through town. Nielsen said the chase involved units from Ashcroft, Clinton, BC Highway Patrol, Williams Lake RCMP and local conservation officers.
“That was a significant event just from the sheer public attention and the fact we were closing the highway down using semi-trucks and dump trucks,” Nielsen said. “That was a global effort by the community that was extremely impressive and the safe resolution to that incident was amazing. I think that’s attributable to all the members involved.”
Nielsen said the department this year plans to continue to work with its local partners including the Canim Lake Band, the District of 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District both to address crimes and engage with the community. On the enforcement side, his big goal is to work closely with the Cariboo Regional Crime Reduction Team to tackle the drug problem in 100 Mile House.
“Obviously that links to property crime, levels of violence and other crimes. That’s nothing new but it’s still an important step to take. If our manpower levels are able to hold the same we’ll be able to accomplish some of that.”