For Dawson Creek police, their services were required about the same amount in 2012 than they were in 2011.
“It appears that our calls for service remained close to the same between 2011, 2012,” said Dawson Creek RCMP Sgt. Scott West. “There’s nothing earth-shattering, which is a good thing for us.”
In 2012, the detachment responded to between 8,500 and 9,000 calls for service, which was the same as last year, West added. He said that the impaired driving numbers were down slightly. Other crimes remained constant, including property crime files and other types of incidents.
“From a trend perspective there’s no large change either up or down,” West said. “They’re just up a bit over 2011, but nothing that’s a cause for concern.”
However, West said that he could not provide exact numbers as to how many of these incidents occurred in 2012. He said earlier that he did not want to present those numbers before that information was presented to city council.
Currently, Dawson Creek RCMP Staff Sgt. Milo MacDonald is set to meet with Dawson Creek city council at Jan. 21 at their regular Committee of the Whole meeting.
“The exact numbers may or may not be presented at that point in time,” West said. “We try and stay away from statistics and numbers and rather look at the trends that we’re seeing.”
West said that one individual assailant “can be involved in a mini-crime spree that can drive statistics up and down,” he explained.
However, there were some small changes for the Dawson Creek detachment in 2012.
West said that the police attempted to build upon the relationship with other services, including the Fire Department, mental health services, and the City of Dawson Creek during the past year.
As well, retrofits of the police building also aided the police.
Not all was pleasant within Dawson Creek over the past year. One unfortunate incident that West pointed to in 2012 was the death of Fort St. John resident Jason Patrick Foster in the Encana Events Centre during a Hedley concert last February. Police said that he died from injuries caused by multiple assailants. As of last March, no assailants had been charged in the event.
In the past year, a new type of drug also entered into Dawson Creek, according to the RCMP. While normally drug users had used pot, cocaine, or crack, this year organized crime brought heroin into the city, according to Dawson Creek RCMP Cpl. James Rutledge, who investigates serious crime for the detachment.
Police continue to seek the public’s help in cracking down on the drug.
If this year’s incidents were similar to 2011, Dawson Creek could earn a dubious distinction on Canada’s Overall Crime Severity Index when it is released for 2012.
According to Statistics Canada, Dawson Creek ranked 10th for violent crime in the Overall Crime Severity Index for communities with over 10,000 people in 2011. For non-violent crime, the city was ranked 33.
The number was an increase in 2010, when the community ranked 28th for violent crime.
However, West said earlier that this is a result of a few cases of violent crimes contributing to a high-value ranking in comparison to communities of similar population.
Moving forward, West said that the detachments hope to continue to build on fostering positive relationships within the community for 2013. Other than that, no major changes are expected for local RCMP in the coming year.