Police presence a concern for North Shore residents

By Chad Klassen
April 19, 2016 - 11:00pm Updated: April 20, 2016 - 12:27pm

KAMLOOPS — Whether residents raised concerns about speeding, drug use, or other crime happening in their neighbourhoods, many on the North Shore expressed the desire for more police presence on Tuesday night at the first of two public forums hosted by the Kamloops RCMP.

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

During the question period, Superintendent Brad Mueller listened to people's concerns but acknowledged it's difficult to be everywhere around the city. 

"I hope we made it clear that when you're policing a community the size of Kamloops, and dealing with the issues that we are, it's complex," says Mueller. "There are some tough decisions that have to be made around ensuring that our resources are being deployed appropriately and that we're efficient in our operation."

Right now, the RCMP splits its resources fairly equally on both the north and south shores of Kamloops. According to the local detachment, 44% of all 9-1-1 calls in 2015 came from the North Shore, with theft coming in as the No. 1 reason, followed by domestic disturbances. Conversely, the South Shore was the site of 56% of calls to Kamloops RCMP, with again theft topping the list, followed by traffic complaints.

"We don't base it on [population]. We base it on calls for service and the type of calls for service," says Mueller. "We just need to make sure we're deploying our resources where the calls for service require them."

During the presentation, Mueller cited property crime as the biggest challenge the Kamloops detachment is facing. While overall crime has been coming down during the last three years, the amount of business thefts in the city is on the rise. 

There's been a 33% increase in breaks-in at local businesses since 2013, including 172 break-and-enters in 2014 alone, up from 136 the year before.

"It's not just here in Kamloops, it's right across the division," he says. "One of the things we're seeing that we haven't seen in the past is, we're seeing these prolific offenders and priority offenders travelling around. We're seeing new people in Kamloops that we haven't seen before."

Kamloops RCMP will be at Hal Rogers Centre in Albert McGowan Park on Thursday night for their final presentation.

RCMP helicopter officially leaving Kamloops July 1