SUBMITTED BY SALT SPRING ISLAND RCMP
Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Salt Spring Island RCMP responded to 791 calls for service, for a running total of 2,133 calls so far this year. In addition to the (average) 8.6 calls per day, police also conducted 360 foot patrols (average four per day) and 145 licensed premises checks (bar walks) in this 92-day period.
In light of current trends on Salt Spring, police also issued 261 traffic warnings, issued 154 violation tickets, conducted 39 checkstops and took 20 impaired drivers off our roads. High numbers of impaired drivers continues to be a concerning trend on Salt Spring Island, especially when considering the safety of other drivers and pedestrians alike. Some impaired drivers are getting caught a second time for impaired driving; police are recommending Criminal Code charges in those investigations. The difference between a provincial immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) impaired investigation and a Criminal Code impaired investigation, among other things, is that a Criminal Code impaired conviction results in a one-year driving prohibition and a criminal record, thus affecting one’s ability to travel out of the country and reduces employment and volunteering opportunities. Immediate roadside prohibitions are a Motor Vehicle Act provincial legislation, they do not come with a criminal record but do impact your driving record. More information on alcohol and drug-related driving prohibitions and suspensions can be found at the Province of British Columbia’s website.
Other types of files during this period included eight firearms complaints, one sex-related offence and 66 mental health-related calls. Also during this period, 80 boats were checked or documented in Ganges Harbour for the purposes of enforcement and safe boating practices. Some of the calls for the third quarter are detailed below:
• A driver who had received a 90-day impaired IRP in March 2023 was caught again drinking and driving. A Criminal Code investigation was commenced and is now before the courts.
• A driver was seen accelerating quickly and who nearly drove into the ditch on Lower Ganges Road. Police found the driver was impaired and a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impoundment (or IRP) resulted.
• A male was found to be drinking in Centennial Park and after repeated warnings and his failure to abide by police warnings, the male was removed from the park.
• A driver fled from police after an attempted traffic stop; a provincial warrant has been requested for the driver’s arrest.
8 SSI RCMP were notified of a pedestrian with minor injuries who was struck by a passing vehicle in downtown Ganges. Police have not yet identified the vehicle nor the driver. If you witnessed this incident or have information that can assist police, please contact the Salt Spring RCMP at 250-537-6757.
• SSI RCMP responded to a report of a fraud that took place where the victim provided their bank account information and password over the phone to a person alleging to be a lawyer who was providing legal counsel to their son; $9,000.00 was taken from their account. The thief has not yet been identified.
• A shoplifter was caught by police and charged with theft after stealing from a local business.
• Police were advised of an adult walking in a residential area who was partially naked from the waist down; the person was identified, found by police and directed to keep their clothes on.
• Police were called in the early morning for a youth who had consumed illicit drugs and was now missing; the youth was eventually located by police.
• A domestic assault was responded to by police; all parties were separated, charges considered, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development was contacted due to police concerns for the baby.
• SSI RCMP responded to an arson where a residence was attempted to be set alight; the investigation is continuing.
• RCMP were contacted after receiving a report of someone speaking disparagingly about another person’s aura; Police provided encouragement for the situation to be addressed by the parties involved. No charges were laid.
• Mischief to a local business was reported to police; the seven youths were located by police on a boat, one of whom was arrested for obstruction. An item taken by the youths was returned by them and they all apologized to the property representative; no charges were laid.
• An illegal encampment in downtown Ganges was directed to be removed by police; with compliance, no one was arrested or charged.
• SSI RCMP received a report of a person struck by a weapon on a boat in Ganges Harbour; after investigation, it was learnt that multiple criminal acts took place by two persons. Warrants are being requested for both parties.
• SSI RCMP responded to a domestic dispute where one person was kicked in the leg by their partner; the partner was arrested for assault and charges recommended to Crown.
• Police were requested to attend a residence for a person who, after stabbing themselves in the leg and threatening to kill others, said they wanted to “die by cop.” Police attended and apprehended the individual without further injury, transporting them to hospital for a psychological assessment.
• Police arrested a person with an outstanding warrant for possession of property obtained by crime; after arrest, the person was released with a court date on Vancouver Island.
• SSI RCMP conducted an interview for an historical homicide.
• Police were called to a downtown business for an intoxicated person who had refused to leave the property and subsequently fought another patron. The intoxicated person was arrested for being intoxicated in a public place and placed in jail overnight.
• Police were advised of a person who drew a knife and held it to someone’s throat during the course of an argument and subsequent fight. The person with the knife is believed to have fled Salt Spring, but a warrant for multiple charges is being sought by RCMP.
• Multiple mischiefs and thefts were reported to police over the course of a weekend; the non-resident subject was identified and arrested with multiple charges recommended to Crown. The subject was transported off Salt Spring Island.
• A person was found to have an open bottle of liquor in public and after being directed by police to provide their name, stated “Go f—k yourself. I ain’t telling you s—t”. The person was warned a second time with a similar response to police. The person was subsequently arrested and taken into custody, their liquor was disposed of and a violation ticket issued.
• Police were advised of a domestic dispute where one partner had been struck in the face. Although the alleged assailant had left the Island, a charge of assault was recommended to Crown by police.
• A shoplifter was caught by police and charges of theft were recommended to Crown.
• SSI RCMP received a report of a vehicle failing to stop for a school bus that was stopped and letting off children. The vehicle and its owner were identified and police attended their residence. Failing to stop for a school bus is a $368 ticket and three demerit points.
• Police received a report of a youth assaulting another youth with a weapon. The alleged assailant was arrested by police and charges will be recommended to Crown.
• Police responded to a report of a missing person armed with a knife wanting to kill themselves. A search resulted with police eventually locating the person and taking them to hospital for assessment.
• Police received a report of a house cat “attacking” a person’s foot while they were out walking. The caller was encouraged to discuss the situation with their neighbour. No further police involvement was required.
• A traffic stop was conducted on a driver who was driving at a slow rate of speed in downtown Ganges. The driver was found to have been drinking, failed two breath tests and was served a 90-day IRP for impaired driving.
In this past quarter, Salt Spring RCMP participated at the September Fall Fair and the July 1st Canada Day celebration, and in the months to come, look forward to more opportunities to continue being part of this community.