Elk Valley RCMP, file photo.

Police crackdown on repeat offenders

Public drinking, aggressive driving also on RCMP’s radar in 2018/19

Repeat and chronic offenders will be targeted as the Elk Valley RCMP tries to curb crime in the community.

Police are also cracking down on people drinking in public and aggressive and impaired drivers in an effort to make the streets safer.

Staff Sergeant Jeff Harrold has revealed the RCMP’s policing priorities for the 2018/19 fiscal year, which have the support of local governments.

“Traffic is going to continue to be a priority but rather than just focusing on speeding, we’re going to focus on aggressive, distracted driving of all kinds as well as impaired driving,” he said.

“While speeding can be and certainly is dangerous, it’s not the end all and be all of traffic safety.

“Somebody passing on a blind corner or hill, or on a double line, is often a lot more dangerous than somebody just speeding down a straight stretch, that’s why I wanted to expand that umbrella.”

Highway 3 has been identified as a hotspot for aggressive driving, along with Highway 43 between Elkford and Sparwood.

“Those are the two main areas,” said Harrold.

“South country, there are lots of folks down there in the summer months. We’re going to be all over.”

A new priority for the Elk Valley RCMP is repeat and chronic offenders. Police will monitor these offenders to ensure they are complying with their court-imposed conditions to prevent them from re-offending, which they are often prone to do, according to Harrold. He said this had proven effective in his previous jurisdiction, Saskatchewan.

“If they’re told that they’re not allowed to have alcohol, if they’re told they must be in their residence between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., if they’re told they can’t be in the company of a certain person, those sorts of things, we are just going to be checking on those folks and making sure that they’re complying with the conditions,” he said.

“What we’ve found in the past is these folks get sentenced… but without us checking on them, they were continuing to go out in the middle of the night and break into cars, and those sorts of things.

“By us keeping a closer eye on these folks, we’re hoping to try and curb that behaviour.”

Police will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to drinking alcohol and intoxication in public places, particularly downtown Fernie.

Harrold said the area had been a focus for several years.

“Property owners were complaining, saying ‘there’s a lot of noise, there’s lots of vandalism going on, there are beer bottles being thrown in my front yard’,” he said.

“It has been ongoing for a couple of years and we’ve seen some improvements recently.

“I think we just need to keep on it because it’s one of the situations where downtown Fernie, with the concentration of bars in that area, it can get away on us pretty quick if we’re not down there watching that pretty closely.”

Anyone caught drinking in public faces a $230 fine, while being intoxicated in a public place carries a $115 fine.

Police will also be more present in schools as they focus on building relationships with youth.

Just Posted

Teens youngest members in Fernie SAR history

Desire to help drives Ben Nixon and Josh Goodison to volunteer

Bear sightings prompt call for community action

Elk Valley and South Country residents have been urged to take responsibility… Continue reading

Decision opens door to short-term rentals

The City of Fernie has opened the door to the short-term rental… Continue reading

Fernie businesses go green

Instead of asking if customers need a bag, cashiers will ask if they’re okay without one.

Failing to stop at watercraft inspection station will result in $345 fine

CO Service reminding boaters it is mandatory to stop at watercraft inspection stations

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Second commercial acid spill in Kootenay city

Station 374 Trail was called to a Hazmat scene Wednesday night on Highway 3B

Kootenay village pot survey reveals a mixed bag

The majority of Warfield respondents were for cannabis sales, but with dispensary restrictions

Most Read