Salmon Arm mayor asks RCMP about enforcement of the ‘no engine brakes’ sign at the east end of town ahead of the large hill. (File photo)

Salmon Arm mayor asks RCMP about enforcement of the ‘no engine brakes’ sign at the east end of town ahead of the large hill. (File photo)

Shuswap RCMP battle increasing trend of breaching of bail conditions

Staff sergeant said more breaches due to province’s direction of trying not to hold people in custody

People breaching their bail conditions with increased frequency were among the notable statistics from the Salmon Arm RCMP in the last quarter of 2020.

Investigative highlights for October, November and December of last year included a total of 20 breach-of-interim-release charges laid, more than triple 2019’s number of six for the same period.

Staff Sgt. Scott West said that’s directly attributable to the provincial direction of trying not to hold people in custody if at all possible, as well as to recent case law.

“We’re paying attention to those conditions where people are being released back into our communities,” he said.

West outlined the statistical highlights and lowlights at city council’s Jan. 11 meeting.

On the positive side, break and enter cases were down, which West attributed to people being at home more during the pandemic. Break and enters to businesses also decreased – six compared to 11 during the last quarter of 2019.

Domestic violence cases were down 11 per cent over the final three months of 2019, West said.

In traffic enforcement, he said officers logged more than 119 traffic stops in the last three months, 26 of which were impaired or prohibited drivers who were charged and their vehicles impounded.

He said officers have also been working on child pornography cases. Those cases are very labour intensive when it comes to obtaining and executing search warrants, he pointed out.

Read more: Salmon Arm gets hopeful sign in quest to reduce trucks’ engine brake noise

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Fingerprinting residents for police information checks and vulnerable sector checks resumed in October. West said it took time to get the service running again to ensure staff and the public felt safe during the pandemic.

He said he’ll be starting to publicize the detachment’s online crime reporting system for certain types of complaints, as it will be operational by the summer.

West said staffing vacancies have continued due to transfers and officer retirements, sometimes with a shortage as high as five officers. He said two new officers will be coming in, but the detachment has three other vacancies to fill.

“Due to these vacancies, we have engaged the RCMP’s Southeast District Reserve Constable program to provide well-needed relief to our officers.”

Mayor Alan Harrison asked West about the relatively new sign on the east end of town that tells truckers to avoid using engine brakes as they head down the hill.

West said he contacted the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers who came to the community one afternoon monitoring a number of commercial vehicles. One trucker received a ticket for using engine brakes. West said he will send continued reminders to CVSE as well as the highway patrol unit, which has also been active in the area recently.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
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