Salt Spring RCMP Provide Fourth-Quarter Statistics for 2020

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Salt Spring’s RCMP detachment has released the following report about calls for service in the fourth quarter of 2020. Its members responded to 2,978 calls in the entire 2020 calendar year, averaging eight to nine calls per day. 

There were 745 calls for service between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. In addition to these 700+ calls for service, Salt Spring RCMP conducted 127 vehicle stops (violation tickets and warnings), 114 licensed premises checks (bar walks) and 362 foot patrols through Centennial Park and other areas. Statistically, this means that of the 92 days in this fourth-quarter period, Salt Spring RCMP conducted one bar walk per day, four foot patrols per day, more than one traffic stop per day, and eight to nine calls for service per day. 

Amongst the 745 calls on Salt Spring in this fourth quarter, there were four sexual assaults, 11 firearms calls and 25 COVID-related calls for police response. There were three separate investigations into child pornography/distribution here on Salt Spring Island. There were 113 mental health calls, accounting for 15 per cent of the total call volume in the fourth quarter. There were also 44 calls requesting police attendance at Centennial Park and surrounding areas for complaints including public drinking, dogs off leash, cause disturbance, assault, mischief, drug trafficking and assault with a weapon.

Some of the calls for this quarter are detailed below:

October 2020

Salt Spring RCMP entered into an investigation of deer poaching from the central Island area. 

  • SSI RCMP responded to a missing person report; the male was later located in Victoria.
  • Police received another report of deer poaching at night from the east part of the island.

– A ‘road rage’ and hit & run incident was reported to police that occurred in downtown Ganges. 

– SSI RCMP responded to a suicidal person trying to steal a boat and drown themselves. The person was located and provided with care.

– Police responded to a report of arrows being shot from bows in Centennial Park. 

– Five different drivers were charged with immediate roadside prohibitions in the month of October for impaired driving. 

– In the month of October, SSI RCMP received multiple reports of people trespassing or camping on both private and commercial properties in downtown Ganges.

– Salt Spring RCMP received an unconfirmed complaint of a group of people who stabbed a dog to death and threw its carcass on a bonfire.

– Police received a request for a check well-being for a male who had not been communicating recently with family/friends; police attended the male’s residence and confirmed his health.

– Police were called to mediate a situation between a landlord and a departing tenant; the personal belongings were obtained by the tenant and they left the property without further incident.

– Salt Spring RCMP responded to an assault in the Centennial Park area; the victim chose not to provide a statement and requested police not pursue any investigation.

– A brown bear swimming in the ocean towards Ruckle Park was reported to police. 

– Police responded to multiple false alarm calls at business and private residences throughout SSI.

– Salt Spring RCMP received a complaint of people trespassing on the roof of a local school. Upon arrival, multiple youths were seen leaving the area quickly.

– Police were advised of a fight between youths; one youth was arrested and a recommendation for charges was forwarded to Crown.

– Police responded to a report of firearms being discharged form shore at passing boats on St. Mary Lake. Police determined the firearm to be a pellet gun and no injuries to person or property were found. A warning was issued to the owner and his friends.

– Police were advised of a known male exposing himself in downtown Ganges; police investigated and recommended the laying of charges for indecent exposure to Crown.

– Police were called to an opioid overdose; police administered Naloxone and assisted EHS with his transport to Lady Minto Hospital.

– A male was arrested by SSI RCMP after he repeatedly punched another male for making comments about his dog. Charges were recommended to Crown. 

– On Hallowe’en night, Salt Spring RCMP responded to a male being shot by a firework. The male was uninjured and the youths who shot the firework fled the scene.

  • A female was given a 3-day immediate roadside prohibition for drinking and driving.

November 2020

– Police received reports of a person camping and showering in the Ecological Reserve waterfall area; police attended and directed the camper to leave the area.

– SSI RCMP were called to a lost hiker and children; police, family and neighbours found the hikers and escorted them from the reserve.

– Police were called to multiple persons smoking, drinking and letting their dogs run loose in Centennial Park.

– Police responded to a break & enter in progress at a local residence; the male was arrested on the property and transported to cells. A charge of break & enter has been recommended.

– Salt Spring RCMP responded to a report of multiple people attending a discussion group with a band playing music at a local business and no one social distancing or wearing masks. A report was submitted by police to the public health officer for a review and possible charges.

– Police were called to a theft in progress at a downtown business; the male was arrested by police and, with the assistance of various members of the public, he was removed from the building and placed into a police car. Because of the racial slurs being uttered and physical altercation that took place, police recommended charges to Crown of assault and public incitement of hatred.

– Police responded to multiple calls of both business and residential alarms throughout the Island; most calls were deemed to be false or accidental in nature.

– A criminal harassment complaint was received regarding ongoing, unwanted emails; the sender of the emails was directed to stop communicating or be charged.

– SSI RCMP received a report of a tenant being aggressive and confrontational with other tenants. Police attended and apprehended the male under the Mental Health Act for assessment at Lady Minto Hospital.

– Police were contacted regarding property stolen from an unlocked vehicle; a suspect was identified but the victim stated he didn’t want the investigation to continue or charges be laid.

– A report of bad driving was made to police after a vehicle was seen travelling on the wrong side of the road and at slow speeds. The vehicle and driver were found and as an explanation, they advised they were simply following the directions of their GPS.

– Police received an off-Island request for a check well-being on a person with no known address but believed to be living somewhere on SSI. Police located the person and confirmed no mental health concerns.

– A bicycle was stolen from the downtown area.

– Police received a report of a person selling cigarettes to a minor. The seller was found by police and a warning was issued.

– Salt Spring RCMP were advised of a male walking around downtown with a machete tied to his waist. Police responded immediately but the male was gone prior to police arrival.

  • A missing person was reported to Salt Spring RCMP; the male was later found in Victoria.

 – Police conducted a road block and checked drivers for impaired driving.

– RCMP were advised of two Americans currently on Salt Spring Island who were not in quarantine. SSI RCMP found the Americans and determined they had been deemed “essential workers” by the government and did not have to quarantine.

– A male was found to be trespassing at night at a downtown business; the male was arrested for trespass by night.

– A report of harassment on Facebook was received by police.

– Police received a report of intoxicated persons at downtown businesses; another report of an assault in a different downtown location was simultaneously received. Police responded to both locations. 

– Police observed a vehicle driving unsafely on the roadway; a traffic stop was conducted and the male was found to be driving while impaired. Charges were laid and the vehicle impounded.

– Police responded to a report of a vehicle, which was left in gear with no driver inside, that rolled across a roadway, down a slope and into the ocean. The vehicle was eventually removed from the ocean by a tow truck on a barge.

– SSI RCMP received a request to execute a warrant on a male living on Salt Spring Island. Police located the male and executed the warrant; SSI RCMP also requested additional charges for the male who was found to be driving illegally.

– Police responded to a collision involving a vehicle driving in Ganges without brakes.

– Police received a report of firearms being discharged without a firearms licence. Police found the male who had been shooting on a farm property with a licensed friend.

December

– Police received a report of a male exposing himself to youths in Mouat Park. The male was identified by police as the subject of an ongoing Indecent Act investigation.

– SSI RCMP received a report of lost tourists hiking on Salt Spring; the two hikers were eventually found by police.

– Police responded to numerous COVID-related calls in December. Some businesses were reminded about the need for staff and patrons to wear masks; many individual patrons were reminded about provincial health guidelines and mask-wearing. A homeowner who threw a large party on Salt Spring was warned repeatedly about gatherings and mask-wearing – after refusing to shut the party down, a $2,300 violation ticket was issued.

– Police responded to a call of a male trapped in a residence for the past 12 years – the male was subsequently apprehended under the Mental Health Act and transported to Lady Minto Hospital for assessment.

– SSI RCMP were advised of a situation where parents were refusing to provide the necessities of life for their child. After discussion with police and allied agencies, the parents agreed for the baby to be further examined and medically treated.

– Police responded to a fight in Centennial Park where the parties were subsequently separated. Shortly thereafter, one of the parties returned to the Park and broke a business’ window. An arrest was made and charges for Mischief have been recommended to Crown.

– A mental health apprehension took place after a male was found in a local business screaming “Someone will have to die today.”

– Police were called by a Salt Spring resident who asked for police to come out and start his generator due to the current power outage. A few days later, police were called by the same resident asking for police to retrieve him a cold bottle of water from his fridge. The role of the police on Salt Spring Island was explained to the resident.

– Police responded to a complaint in Centennial Park of multiple people drinking and causing a disturbance. After repeatedly being asked to leave, a male was arrested for cause disturbance and resist arrest.

– SSI RCMP were advised of multiple fraudulent transactions that occurred in downtown businesses after a reported lost debit card. The female conducting the frauds has yet to be identified.

– On Christmas Day, police received a report of a missing individual possibly near the Ecological Reserve. Search & Rescue services were requested and they began a comprehensive grid search lasting for hours. The male was later found, and was determined to have gone over to a friend’s for a Christmas party.

– A hit & run was reported; police attended the scene and determined the driver had been drinking. A 90-day immediate roadside prohibition was issued.

– Police received a report of a stolen vehicle; the investigation is continuing. 

– Police received a complaint of four males fighting in the downtown area; upon police arrival, the males had stopped fighting and were leaving the area. It was alleged the fight started because of someone cheating at chess.

– Police attended a residence for a check well-being request; it was determined the resident was fine and able to care for themselves. 

In light of continuing COVID measures, Salt Spring residents are encouraged to wear masks, not gather in large groups indoors, and be respectful to each other. 

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