Drug related crimes spike in Kamloops in 2016

By Jill Sperling
January 30, 2017 - 3:01pm Updated: January 31, 2017 - 2:59pm

KAMLOOPS — RCMP received nearly 43,000 calls for service in 2016, almost 12,000 of those calls were recorded in the fourth quarter. 

Crimes against property were up more than 10 per cent from the same time period in 2015. It's an increase that Kamloops RCMP Superintendent Brad Mueller says relates to a spike in drug activity. 

"The increases in property crime are being driven by the drug activity," Mueller said, "so ... break and enters and all that are down, but the smaller property crime is being driven up, and certainly that's consistent with what we see from a certain segment of vulnerable people in the community that are looking to support a drug lifestyle."

Calls to the RCMP that fall under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in all of 2016 totaled 2,288. That's a 48 per cent increase from 2015, and a nearly 50 per cent increase from 2013. 

Mueller adds there has also been an increase in arrests, which he attributes to proactive work by the force, work that includes the creation of a street-level drug team. 

"We've always been mindful of both street level and mid level, but you know with the emerging opioid and fentanyl crisis that we're dealing with we've made a decision to readjust some of our resourcing and focus in on those areas, so I think the higher arrests that you're seeing are the result of the good work, and the proactive enforcement that we're taking in terms of dealing with those issues."

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