Port Hardy “is no Sleepy Hollow”, says RCMP Detachment Commander Gord Brownridge. “The members always have something to do,” said Brownridge.
The comments were made at the regular meeting of District of Port Hardy Council meeting May 10 in response to a question about how the community compares to others of similar size in terms of case files. Brownridge was at the meeting to present his quarterly report to the end of March 31. Brownridge told council the total files for the quarter were 957, up from 768 in the same period in 2015.
“It was a busy year overall,” he said. A highlights from the report is that missing person calls increased from three to 36. Brownridge said this number is high, but explained that if the same child went missing seven days in a row that would create seven files.
Assaults more than doubled to 33 from 16, however, “they’ve all been investigated and cleared,” he said. Causing a disturbance went from 28 to 54 which Brownridge attributed to “lound parties mostly.” Intoxicated in public files rose to 67 from 52; mischief charges were up slightly from 41 to 47; and theft from motor vehicles 15 compared to two last year.
“Theft from vehicles is going to be a priority, because it continues to be a problem,” said Brownridge. RCMP time and resources continue to be wasted on abandoned or false 911 calls which increased from 26 to 48. “A lot of that is pocket dials,” said Brownridge, adding that each one of these calls has to be investigated and each person found to make sure they are okay.
In response to a question about increased fines for distracted driving, “we’re not finding a lot. These fines are getting really high now and they’re (the Province) ramping up education on it,” said Brownridge. Councillor John Tidbury asked the Commander if anything could be done about educating kids and grown ups how to behave in the crosswalks in school zones, adding he has had to slam on the brakes for kids with ear phones on who step out without looking both ways.
Brownridge said that has happened to him as well, but rather than the RCMP targeting individual children on the street that the quickest was to get the message out would be to have the issue raise at school assemblies.