100 Mile House RCMP calls went up by 478 (10.7 per cent) from 4,451 in 2017 to 4,929 in 2018.
“The jump in the stats appear to derive from traffic, abandoned or false 911 calls and animal calls – mostly,” according to Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen.
Traffic files, routinely the most common type of call, increased by 178 (39.1 per cent), from 455 in 2017 to 633 in 2018.
“This 178 file increase is notable and worth mentioning, in the sense that people are reporting more events about drivers on all our roadways. These involve erratic, speeding or other issues with vehicles on our roadways.”
Abandoned 911 calls increased from 164 in 2017 to 253 in 2018 (54.3 per cent increase).
Nielsen notes that these calls are usually cleared as pocket or mistaken dials.
“These are primarily people leaving their phones in their pockets while sitting or driving or having young children play with the phone. There are significantly more calls than this regarding this safety issue, these are just the events we are dispatched too.”
Animal calls, usually loose animals such as horses, dogs or injured deer/moose which need to be put down, increased from 203 to 242, a 19.2 per cent increase.
“Clients usually contact us first in regards to animal complaints due to a possible injury to the animal itself or risk to public if, say, there are cattle on the roads or an injured moose after being hit by a car. The local conservation officers are great and we work extremely well with them, but sometimes they are tasked to other duty areas, so the calls fall back to us to dispatch an injured animal after being received by the CO service.”
When it comes to concerns about domestic animals people’s first call should be to the SPCA, according to Nielsen, especially if it involves abuse or neglect.
“A dangerous animal, such as a loose dog, can also be referred to the SPCA first. On most occasions, we do end up dealing with the complaint depending on circumstances, but the first call should be to the SPCA.”
Interior Roads helps with traffic control and animal control in the odd instance, he says.
“But really they come and remove the animal from the roadside. A significant amount of these animals are taken for processing by local community members with permission from the conservation service, so the meat and other material is not wasted.”
Other categories with substantial call volumes remained relatively stable.
Break and enters officially dropped by one with 61 in 2017 and 60 in 2018, though Nielsen says the actual number for 2018 may well be higher.
“Keep in mind there was a large increase in break and enters, especially in December, which were reported to one or two files, so this number is likely higher by an estimated 10-15 per cent. Also, some of the break and enters occurring in the past month or so were located in Clinton RCMP’s area, which do not effect our stats directly.”
Business break and enters jumped from 16 to 24, with residential break and enters at 12 and others (sheds and outbuildings) went to 16 (up from 10).
“Numbers were higher, but there were also several unfounded or proven not to be break and enter events.”
The number of possession of stolen property files more than doubled but remained a fairly small part of the overall files, increasing from six in 2017 to 13 in 2018.
“There have been several member generated files in the past two months in this regard due to the rash of break and enters. Two search warrants have been completed in the past two weeks linking past crimes to suspects.”
When it came to motor vehicle collisions, numbers actually went down in 2018 (from 210 to 192) but the number of fatal collisions increased from three to five.
Common assaults (no weapons or serious injuries) increased slightly from 76 with 26 unfounded in 2017 to 85 calls with 24 unfounded in 2018.
“Fortunately, we do not get many assaults with weapon or serious injuries.”
Mental Health Act files dropped by one from 156 to 155.
“These files are very time-consuming for the officers, as we work in conjunction with the hospital in support of the care and well being of these community members.”
The department at this time is not expecting to see extra resources at the detachment based on the increase in call volume.