Crime stats presented to city council.

Crime stats presented to city council.

Impaired driving up, downtown crime down says Maple Ridge’s top cop

Police chief Hyland reports to city council on crime and policing

Crime and policing were on the agenda at city hall on Tuesday.

Impaired drivers and policing in the downtown core were two of the issues highlighted as Ridge Meadows RCMP Superintendent Jennifer Hyland offered city council a quarterly report.

The city’s top cop highlighted a “disconcerting” number of impaired drivers, and said police are planning more community education.

Under Project Domino, a program aimed at taking drunk drivers off the roads, eight officers have qualified for Alexa’s Team in 2020 – that means they conducted 12 impaired driving investigations each. It is the most members of Alexa’s Team the city has ever had, and Hyland said more members will reach that 12 investigation threshold by the end of the year.

Impaired driving investigations are up 40 per cent over 2019, year to date, she said. Project Domino Effect performed 553 impaired driving investigations in 2019.

“It’s actually a bit disheartening there are that many impaired drivers on the roads,” she said, adding the detachment conducts the most impaired driving investigations per capita in the province.

READ ALSO: Ridge Meadows RCMP initiative results in fewer impaired driving deaths

Coun. Kiersten Duncan noted Operation Red Nose, which sees volunteers give people who have been drinking a safe ride home through the holiday season, will not be operating this year due to COVID-19. That could result in more drivers getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Inspector Allison Good also presented to council about crime. She noted that over the six-month period from April 1 to Sept. 30

• Property crime is at a five-year low, down 16 per cent from 2019 year to date. There were 838 incidents in third quarter of 2020, compared with 1,072 in third quarter of 2019.

• Mental Health incidents continue in significant numbers, with 378 in the second quarter, and 303 in the third quarter.

• Downtown crime stats for the second and third quarters showed there were 148 foot patrols by RCMP in the downtown core, and 157 incidents with charges recommended to Crown Counsel.

The number one crime investigated in the area was causing a disturbance, with 568 incidents.

Hyland spoke about the city’s Community Safety Officer program, which is a team that operates within bylaw services to “provide a swift and effective response to some of the city’s most challenging social problems,” according to the city website.

In the downtown core, Criminal Code and drug incidents dropped from 930 in first quarter to 839 in second, and 801 in third.

“It’s a very valuable program. Obviously there is a limitation to what a CSO can do,” said Hyland. “As the chief of police, I’m not going to stand here and say you don’t need to invest in police officers anymore.”

One of the reasons RCMP cancelled its own CSO program, is because regular officers have to take over investigations at some point, she said.

Coun. Ahmed Yousef asked about public use of illicit narcotics.

“Does open drug use fall under that category of illegal street activities?” he asked, saying it was for public edification.

READ ALSO: B.C. premier asks Trudeau to decriminalize illicit drug possession as deaths climb

Hyland answered the Canadian Chiefs of Police and Public Safety Canada have come out with a report on decriminalization of drugs.

“It has been made very clear that the courts, and the Crown, and the justice system will not be charging or running trials for simple possession drug use or even simple trafficking charges,” said Hyland.

Using drugs in public may not be offence, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be dealt with, she added, saying police will move people along, and generally dissuade open drug use.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

maple ridgeRCMP

Just Posted

A 49-year-old man from Coquitlam died after he was hit by a dump truck near Airport Way and Harris Road on Saturday, May 15. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services)
Update: Pedestrian dies after being hit by dump truck in Pitt Meadows Saturday afternoon

Man was walking his bicycle across the road near Airport Way and Harris Road

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

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

Gerry Jensen had an interesting visitor last month in his backyard near Maple Ridge Park. It was a male pileated woodpecker. “I hear these guys fairly often, but haven’t actually seen one in 25 years or more. I was very surprised to see this one demolishing a suet block hanging in my Hazelnut tree. Their eyesight must be fantastic in order to find a small block like this more or less hidden in the branches.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Fine-feathered friends feast in Maple Ridge backyard

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

The theme for Earth Day celebrations this year is “Emerge”. (Special to The News)
Keeping Earth Day spirit alive in Maple Ridge

Conservation activities contest extends to May 22 and beyond

Ron Tuck presents a Ridge Meadows Royals #33 to Larry Walker Sr., as the local minor ball association retired Larry Walker Jr.’s number. (Special to The News)
Ridge Meadows Baseball retires Larry Walker’s number

Association honours future hall of famer

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read