Local RCMP detachment presents 2009 stats

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Photo: Fort St. John RCMP Inspector Pat Egan listens to a councilor’s question, after he presented the 2009 detachment update on Monday afternoon – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

By Christine Rumleskie

Traffic fatalities within the Fort St. John RCMP jurisdiction decreased by 60 per cent in 2009.

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That’s one of many findings in the 2009 Fort St. John Detachment Update, presented by Inspector Pat Egan at Monday night’s Council Meeting.

Egan says in 2008, there were ten traffic fatalities, but in 2009, that number dropped to four. Inspector Egan says more traffic check stops likely decreased last year’s numbers.

The report also provided numbers on drug-related charges within Fort St. John. The stats indicate that cocaine possession and trafficking was down. Meanwhile, marijuana possession was also down, while marijuana trafficking increased only slightly.

Inspector Egan says many ‘high-profile’ drug traffickers were arrested in 2008, which could have resulted in the lower numbers.

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Meanwhile, Egan is attributing last year’s low vandalism numbers to the Anti-Social Behavior sessions held last spring. During those meetings, the City gathered a list of crimes that the public felt where high-priority.

Vandalism was one of the top-ranking crimes, and RCMP members were advised of the community’s concern. Egan says the detachment saw 421 vandalism cases in 2009, compared to 547 cases in 2008.

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The RCMP dealt with a significant amount of people who were drunk in public last year. In 2008, officers got 661 calls, but in 2009, there were more than 920 people that were caught drunk in a public location.

Egan is optimistic about the statistic, saying that police presence has increased in the downtown core, resulting in more people being apprehended.

Overall, the detachment received 13,836 calls for service, which is 6% lower from 2008.

City Council will now be meeting with officers from the local detachment on February 15th, to establish a list of priorities for 2010.

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