By Mark Squibb | June 17, 2021
Calls for service to the RCMP in the Carbonear and Harbour Grace area are continuing to increase, Staff Sgt. Greg Hicks told a meeting of the region’s joint council..
Officers have responded to 1,587 calls for service this year so far, Hicks told the mayors and councillors who attended the Avalon North joint council meeting last month. Over the same time last year, that number was 1,237.
“So, we’re still seeing that month-to-month increase in calls for services in the Harbour Grace-Carbonear area,” said Hicks.
Impaired driving and improper use of ATVS continue to be a problem, he added, and highlighted two incidents.
On May 11, said Hicks, a 40 year-old man was arrested for impaired driving after crashing his car into a residential property in Harbour Grace.
“The car had collided with the wooden retaining wall in front of a home. The man was arrested and blew twice the legal limit, which is a concern obviously in a residential neighborhood,” he said.
Another incident occurred just a few days later.
“On the fourth of May, at 11:30 p.m., officers and members of the fire department attended to an ATV collision on Harvey Street, and in that case a female was injured, and a male arrested for impaired driving, and did provide samples that were over the legal limit,” said Hicks. “Luckily, they were both wearing a helmet when they crashed , so the injuries weren’t too terribly serious. It could have been a much more serious issue. But it is a continuing concern, and we will respond to every complaint that we receive about impaired (drivers).”
In the previous 30 days, Hicks noted, officers had responded to 347 calls, including 45 crimes against persons. “We’re averaging more than one a day in the area, so that’s a continuing concern for us,” he said. The other matters included seven reports of impaired driving – with one resulting in a charge, 18 mental health calls, 14 collisions – one of which resulted in injury, two Quarantine Act requests, and 23 calls concerning off-road vehicles.
“All 23 of those were focused in Harbour Grace, Carbonear, and Victoria,” said Hicks. “I just checked, interestingly enough, and over the last 30 days we haven’t had one complaint about off-road vehicles north of Victoria coming from the public.”
Meanwhile, calls for service to the Bay Roberts detachment actually decreased.
Sgt. Kenny Maher said the detachment received 293 calls for service that month, which was down from 365 during the same time period last year. To date, the detachment had received 1,245 calls this year, down from 1,305 over the same period last year.
Twenty-five calls were involved reports of crimes against persons, there were six impaired driving complaints (no charges were laid) 12 Mental Health Act calls, nine property damage complaints, four collisions with injuries, seven Quarantine Act compliance checks, and 11 ATV related complaints from the public.
“Of note, over the past 30 days, we’ve had Canada’s Road Safety Week as well as National Impaired Driving Enforcement Days,” Maher pointed out. “I believe in excess of 200 vehicles were stopped and checked in regards of that.”
Maher also noted the detachment office was still “knee deep in construction,” but that the detachment is still open to the public.
“However, the front door is still closed because it simply doesn’t exist right now,” he added. “We’re hoping to move into phase 2 in the next month, and hopefully we’ll be able to invite everyone back in as we relax COVID restrictions and get our office upgraded.”