The numbers are in for what the local RCMP detachment have been up to in Fernie over the last three months of 2021, and 2021 as a whole.
Corporal Dan Hay presented the quarterly statistics to the City of Fernie council on Feb. 14, saying that overall, they were “down 12 percent in total calls” for the last two years, with that being attributable to COVID measures and restrictions on activities.
Of 927 calls for service received by the Elk Valley RCMP in 2021, Fernie accounted for 284 of them – roughly 30 percent. Fernie has consistently made up around 30 percent of all calls to the Elk Valley RCMP yearly for the last few years.
Drilling down on offences recorded by the RCMP in October-December 2021, Fernie saw eight domestic violence offenses (of 23 in the Elk Valley), four sexual assault offences (of 10 in Elk Valley), four vehicle thefts (of six in the Elk Valley) and notably, 11 impaired driving offences of 20 in the valley that had . Hay said that ‘impaired driving’ meant being caught driving under the influence of alcohol, not distracted driving.
“We never seem to have a problem reaching our impaired driver targets,” he said.
For impaired driving enforcement, detachment-wide and over all of 2021, the Elk Valley RCMP handed out 10 24-hour roadside license suspensions, 20 3-day immediate roadside license suspensions, and 48 90-day immediate roadside license suspensions.
Notable incidents for the local detachment were the theft and destruction of two trucks in December last year – one of which was demolished by a train in the South Country, and the second which was abandoned and set alight in Fernie afterwards.
Hay reported that two suspects involved with that spree were arrested and charged – they were well-known to police in the Lethbridge area.
Hay said that on that morning of the spree (Dec. 21), police had noted many unattended vehicles in Fernie idling to warm up in the cold, meaning it could have gone on if the suspects had been able to locate a third vehicle able to be stolen.
In other news, Hay praised the actions of two hunters in October that reported human remains found in the Elko area, saying that police had been able to determine that the remains were that of a man reported as missing from southern Alberta.
”There had been concerns for his mental wellness and the investigation confirmed the male sadly took his own life. Officers liaised with Alberta RCMP to make a next of kin notification. Due to the actions of the two hunters, police were able to provide closure to a family as the remains were in a very remote and secluded area.”
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