RCMP see increase in files

S/Sgt Brownridge presents quarterly numbers to Port Hardy Council.

PORT HARDY— “It’s been a busy summer,” said S/Sgt Gord Brownridge, presenting the Port Hardy RCMP detachment’s quarterly report to Council last week.

Total files were up as Brownridge noted, in particular public intoxication files. He attributed the rise in part to a combination of increased foot patrols and repeat offenders.

Council discussed the issue of repeat offenders with Brownridge, with the officer noting that the issue did not have a quick and easy solution, and pointing to a lack of public resources equipped to deal with repeat offenders. “It’s going to take some time,” Brownridge contended.

“It’s apparent that there are significant gaps in service,” agreed Mayor Bev Parnham.

Those at the table agreed that those with addictions will be more successful in recovery if they have themselves seek to change, something that does not lend itself well to enforcement. Mayor Parnham stated that she would be interested in finding out the success rate of court-ordered rehabilitation programs.

On another front, Brownridge informed council on “collecting victim impact statements from businesses and the like to include in court dockets,” which would in turn express to the court the effects that repeat offenders have on the community.

Brownridge also reaffirmed the detachment’s strategic priorities of tackling substance abuse and drug trafficking, traffic, maintaining a presence in First Nations communities, and crime reduction.

•Council members agreed in principle with the idea behind the draft Burwood Group Conservancy Management Plan, a long-term plan to conserve a group of islands near the Tribune Channel, but expressed some concern about the number of seemingly overlapping projects addressing the waters off Vancouver Island. Councillors pointed to PNCIMA and MaPP, projects which seem to overlap the Burwood plan, and asked whose vision takes priority in cases of conflict.