Total RCMP calls for the Town of Gibsons saw more than a 20 per cent drop from last year during the third quarter, Sunshine Coast RCMP Staff Sgt. Herb Berdahl reported to council on Oct. 15.
The number of offences investigated in July, August and September went down from 571 to 450, with “significant drops in most areas,” Berdahl told council.
Two exceptions were “other federal statutes,” which went up from four to eight, and traffic investigations, which rose from 38 to 55.
With the federal statute category including ammunition turned in for destruction under a month-long amnesty in June, Berdahl said the slight rise was “nothing to be too concerned about.”
The increase in traffic investigations could be tied to higher enforcement activity and more calls from the public, but a significant factor was the increase in collisions from nine to 16.
“We’ve been targeting high-collision areas, so hopefully that will result in a drop in those incidents,” Berdahl said.
In other categories, crimes against persons dropped during the third quarter from 30 last year to 24, property crimes from 81 to 65, other criminal code offences from 60 to 39, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act offences from 12 to 11, provincial statutes from 99 to 64, and bylaw infractions from 30 to 25.
Berdahl noted that in past years, enforcement during Gibsons Sea Cavalcade inflated the statistics for crimes against persons, property crimes and provincial statutes in cases of public intoxication. This year, however, no charges were laid and Berdahl called it “a wonderful event with very little impact on policing.”
He also took the opportunity to publicly thank Mayor Wayne Rowe, council, the Town and “the community itself” for all the support they gave to the RCMP Musical Ride at the end of July.
The senior Mounties in charge of the Ride, he said, “were very, very impressed by the manner in which the event came together,” drawing more than 4,000 spectators after the troop had appeared in Cloverdale, where they performed for about 1,500 people over four separate shows.
Coun. Gerry Tretick returned the thanks.
“I know you worked very hard to get that to come here, and the community was very appreciative of that,” he told Berdahl.