Hope RCMP deal with new type of police call: public health complaints

Hope RCMP deal with new type of police call: public health complaints

Property crime is down, while family violence saw a small increase, for March

With COVID-19 keeping people at home, Hope’s top police officer says the RCMP have been dealing with more calls to the detachment than usual.

The statistics for Hope and Boston Bar’s RCMP detachments were surprising said Staff Sergeant Karol Redhner. The police had anticipated a drop in calls and while they did see less property crime reported, 100 more calls overall came in to police in March.

The 516 calls in March is a 20 per cent increase compared to the monthly average over the past six months – 417.

A new type of call for the RCMP over the past month has been public health-related calls. These stemmed from the public health directives to social distance, bans on personal service businesses being open, bans on dine-in for restaurants and rules to quarantine after return home from abroad.

The stats do not show how many of these types of calls police received, Rehdner said, but they included calls about restaurants being in operation, people not keeping two metres away from one another and others not quarantining properly.

“It’s always about education and information,” Rehdner said about what police would do if they were tasked by public health to go out on one of these calls.

The police have since seen a drop in calls about restaurants, after the public health authorities visited 65 Hope businesses and found 100 per cent compliance.

So far, Rehdner said he hasn’t been made aware of anyone within the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment area contravening the Quarantine Act “to the point where we become involved,” he said.

The RCMP announced Friday their officers will soon be enforcing mandatory quarantines for people newly arrived from abroad – this could include house checks and fines of of $750,000 and six months in prison for people who violate the order. For those found in wilfull or reckless contravention of the act could be fined up to $1-million and could face up to three years in prison.

Read more: Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

The Hope and Boston Bar area saw three additional family violence-related calls in March. There were 11 calls in March, compared to the monthly average of eight calls.

“We saw a small increase of three files over the course of March,” Rehdner said, yet added he would need to look at mid-March to mid-April to see if measures against COVID-19 are resulting in a rise in these calls.

It is worth noting that many family violence-related incidents go unreported, so calls do not present a complete picture of how much family violence is ongoing.

When self-isolation was recommended for everyone in Canada, advocates warned of the possibility of increases to domestic violence and sexual violence against women and children. Statistics Canada data from 2018 shows that most intimate partner violence occurs in homes occupied by the accused and the survivor and women are 8 out of 10 times the survivor of the violence.

In communities including Victoria and Vernon police have said they’ve seen increases in these types of calls in March, meanwhile others such as Campbell River have said this is not the case in their community.

While property crimes are down, Rehdner said the RCMP are cognizant of the fact that several downtown businesses have shut their doors in response to the pandemic. “We look to increase our patrols through the business area downtown and elsewhere,” he said.

While the RCMP office is shut to the general public, police work is still ongoing. Non-emergency crimes can be reported through an online portal the RCMP set up in late March.

So far, no officers have become ill from COVID-19 – Rehdner noted it would be difficult for the detachment to manage if they had five or six officers off due to the virus.

Police work has to be done, Rehdner said, but police are quite used to social distancing. They call it ‘tactical positioning,’ meaning officers should maintain a distance from people unless they need to get closer. Officers also have eye protection, gloves as well as a half mask, which they make an assessment whether to use at the scene.



emelie.peacock@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusCrime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kent Harrison Search and Rescue brought a man to safety, and awaiting paramedics, after a 20-foot fall down an embankment on Jan. 23, 2020, on Harrison West Forest Service Road. (Kent Harrison Search and Rescue photo)
Rescue crew lifts man up 20-foot embankment near Harrison Lake

Kent Harrison Search and Rescue says this is the fifth call already this year

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Jan. 24

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Most Read