Calls to Ladysmith RCMP were up slightly in 2016

Calls to Ladysmith RCMP were up slightly in 2016

Calls to Ladysmith RCMP up slightly in 2016

Ladysmith RCMP responded to 4,711 calls for service in 2016, up about 2.75 per cent from the previous year.

Ladysmith RCMP responded to 4,711 calls for service in 2016, up about 2.75 per cent from the previous year, according to Staff Sgt. Ken Brissard.

“Those are everything from a loud party to the most serious,” he told the Chronicle.

In 2015, there was a 12 per cent increase which led to the RCMP requesting the Town of Ladysmith approve funding for a new support staff position.

“I think some of that reduction that we saw in comparison from 2014 and 2015 is because the members are able to be out on the road more,” Brissard said.

“Certainly the numbers were better than what we saw in 2015 but our services are still being requested more than the previous year.”

In terms of decreases, there was less property crime and thefts from vehicles in the areas where Ladysmith RCMP police which includes Saltair all the way out to the Stz’uminus First Nation and north toward Cassidy.

The number of residential break-ins was also about the same from the previous year.

“I think people are starting to harden their property,” Brissard said. “Just becoming more alive to the fact that it (crime) can come to their driveway or street as well if their vehicle is left unattended.”

RCMP are credited with aggressively removing the opportunity for these sorts of crimes to take place.

“It’s not that we don’t want people phoning us but we want to decrease the reason for them having to phone us,” Brissard added.

There was also a decrease in business break-ins within the town limits, but not in areas local RCMP police outside of Ladysmith, such as near the airport.

Brissard said they aren’t about to “throw up the white flag” despite it being a difficult task to keep constantly monitoring these rural businesses.

“The criminals are transient, they’re passing through our community,” he noted.

“That’s something that we continue to struggle with and we’ll continue to work to decrease that.”

Another area where police are receiving more calls for service is reports of domestic violence.

However, an increase in the statistics only appears to tell to half the story.

“I think that victims are more liable to report it today then they were,” Brissard said.

“I think five, 10 years ago, victims were hesitant to air their laundry in public and there’s lots of reasons for that and I think now people are putting their foot down.

“I think that when we see that increase in reported incidents of domestic violence that’s the reason for it which is a good thing.”

Among the biggest concerns for Ladysmith RCMP continues to be road safety, and in particular “aggressive attitude” and “inattention to detail.”

“There’s times when vehicles are reported as possible impaired drivers just because of their driving habit, or their lack of attention,” Brissard said.

Dogwood Drive, or the Dogwood Dip as it’s known, passes through a school playground zone were RCMP frequently stop motorists who are unaware they must slow to 30 km/h.

“We all need to be more observant when we’re behind that steering wheel. That’s our number one concern when it comes to motor safety.”