Drug activity, organized property crimes, and crime trending down - a Q & A with the DC RCMP

Crime Severity Index (CSI) of Dawson Creek has consistently remained higher than the provincial average and national averages for the previous five years, however 2020 sees crimes trending downward

What’s the current level of drug activity in the city? A bust on May 23 discovered fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine being trafficked by a pair.
For the month of May 2020, possession/trafficking of drugs is documented to be much higher than the same month in 2019. I attribute that notable increase to increased enforcement by the Dawson Creek RCMP Detachment.

The (May 23) incident is a direct result of pro-active police investigation resulting in search warrants and charges. In April & May this year alone the Dawson Creek RCMP have executed 6 CDSA search warrants relating to drug trafficking - again a result of increased pro-active enforcement and investigation on behalf of the Dawson Creek RCMP. Drugs & Substance Abuse has been identified as a policing priority in Dawson Creek this year so I expect there to be much more enforcement in this area throughout the year.

2015 saw the rise of a drug turf war, are gangs still operating in DC?
We do not have any gangs openly engaging in Dawson Creek nor any chapters established in our area. We do have criminals in our area engaged in organized crime; predominantly organized property crime. Organized crime has been linked to gangs. I expect that gangs have some influence throughout most communities in British Columbia.
What can you tell me about the June stabbing in the downtown core? Has anyone been charged in connection with that crime?
There was a stabbing which resulted in minimal injury for which no medical treatment was required. An offender was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon. The incident was not random and involved a group of individuals known to each other, so there is not considered to be a threat to the general public.

DC RCMP’s provincial caseload sat at 103 per officer last year, the sixth highest in British Columbia. What are they now, and how are your officers feeling about policing workloads in 2020?
Between 2013-2018 property crime in Dawson Creek rose by 66%. As of 2018 (the latest numbers available), the Crime Severity Index (CSI) of Dawson Creek has consistently remained higher than the provincial average and national averages for the previous 5 years. CSI drivers included predominantly property crimes, robbery, and assault.
The province increased funding for 2 additional members earlier this year, raising the total establishment of the Detachment from 29 officers to 31 officers. Those new officers are now stationed in Dawson Creek and working. In 2019 and now in 2020 we have began to see a downward trend in all crime types; including property crime.
What community initiatives does the Dawson Creek detachment have currently to engage with the public?
School visits - Detachment members are assigned to each school within the Dawson Creek area and make multiple school visits throughout the year. DARE - throughout the 2018-2019 school year the Detachment provided DARE classes to several different schoolrooms in Dawson Creek.
The Detachment has participated in multiple community events over the last year such as: Remembrance Day, Canada Day, High school graduation, Dawson Creek Triathlon, Food drive, Judge at the Science Fair, Annual Christmas Choir, Adopt a family (Christmas), Bike Rodeo, Fraud Prevention workshops, Break and Enter Prevention workshops, and more. Several of our officers volunteer their own time with Cub Scouts, Minor League Baseball, or at the Nawican Friendship Center working with youth.
Dawson Creek Detachment has a member whom sits on the Community Advisory Committee which partners with various organizations in the community to address the issue of mental health in our area.
Dawson Creek is an active participant of the Community Inter-Agency Committee which meets quarterly and involves approximately 20 different businesses and organizations sharing ideas to work together in promoting the safety and wellness of the community.
As part of the 2019 budget process, Dawson Creek City Council looked at reducing the number of officers paid for by the City to 22 from 25. How has the detachment’s relationship with the city been since then?
Dawson Creek RCMP have always shared a good working relationship with the City of Dawson Creek and we look forward to continuing to work with the City in ensuring public safety and community wellness.

How have crime trends been altered in the wake of COVID-19? The FSJ detachment has reported more calls for mental health, but generally quiet overall. What do the streets of DC look like?
(I can't) provide any information on the affect that COVID has had on calls for service as we will not be able to see this until later in the year when we look back on the crime stats for this particular period. That said, crime has; and continues in a downward trend, calls for service have been dropping through 2019 and continue to do so in 2020.

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