SUBMITTED BY SSI RCMP
As of Dec. 31, 2021, Salt Spring Island RCMP responded to 2,948 calls throughout the year, averaging eight calls per day. This is a decrease of 30 calls from the 2020 call volume of 2,978 calls for that year.
Of the near-3,000 calls this year, there were 520 mental health-related files, 505 traffic-related complaints, and 112 calls to Centennial Park and the downtown area. Dozens of sex-related offences were reported to SSI RCMP; an additional 56 calls involved COVID-19 and/or Provincial Health Orders and enforcement. There were 122 motor vehicle collisions reported and police responded to 40 firearms-related offences. Over the course of the year, police conducted over 1,300 foot patrols in the Centennial Park and downtown areas. Police also gave presentations at some of our local schools and participated in various community events.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, there were 684 calls for service between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31; in addition to the near-700 calls for service, Salt Spring RCMP conducted 92 vehicle stops (violation tickets and warnings), 55 licensed premises checks (bar walks) and 233 foot patrols through Centennial Park and other areas. Statistically, this means that during this 92-day period, police conducted one bar walk every two days, two-plus foot patrols per day, and one traffic stop per day, all in addition to the seven to eight calls for service each day.
Police responded to six sexual-related offences, nine firearms calls and 144 mental health complaints in this fourth quarter. Police aided the BC Coroners Service on multiple local investigations, responded to road wash-out and flooding complaints, and attended multiple fires during this quarter. Mental health-related complaints accounted for 21 per cent of the total call volume in this three-month period.
Some of the calls from the last quarter of 2021 are detailed below:
• A fraud was reported to SSI RCMP where over $100,000.00 was taken from a resident’s bank account; international efforts have been made by SSI RCMP to further the investigation.
• A lost resident was found and transported back to their residence by police.
• Police responded to multiple attempted suicides by various males and females throughout the month.
• A male who wanted to be shot by SSI RCMP was taken into custody without violence and transported to hospital for assessment.
• A bicycle was reported stolen to police.
• Police responded to a single-vehicle MVI that heavily damaged both the truck and private property; reparations are being made by the driver.
• Police responded to a firearm complaint where shots were heard.
• Police assisted Sooke RCMP in locating a missing person.
• Police responded to a baby locked in a running car; police assisted with gaining access to the car and the baby returned to her parents.
• SSI RCMP were contacted after a toilet covered with ketchup and sparkles was placed in a resident’s yard; the suspect was identified by police and a warning given.
• A pet owner called Police to report her cat had eaten an unknown type of mushroom and died
• An impaired driver was caught by SSI RCMP; Criminal Code charges were laid and the matter is going before the courts.
• A military projectile was found on Baker Beach; SSI RCMP attended and then contacted the Explosives Disposal Unit, who safely detonated the projectile.
• SSI RCMP executed a warrant for a male who had failed to pay child support for the past few years; the male was arrested and a court date was assigned to him.
• Police were called to investigate a report of a male youth who sexually assaulted his younger sister.
• Police responded to a report of a vehicle doing donuts on a school field; the vehicle and registered owner have been identified by police and charges are pending.
• Police intercepted a package of illicit drugs shipped in the mail to a Salt Spring address; the investigation is continuing.
• A male who had been arrested by SSI RCMP in 2020 for throwing rocks through business windows failed to attend court and a warrant for his arrest was subsequently issued. Police in Langley, B.C. apprehended the male in November 2021 and a new court date was provided. The male subsequently didn’t show up for court again and another warrant has been issued for his arrest.
• A male with outstanding warrants for assaulting a peace officer was arrested by SSI RCMP and given a new court date.
• Police attended a workplace accident where a worker was injured by a crane; Workplace Safety attended.
• After catching hydro wires on the roof of a reversing delivery truck, a hydro pole broke and struck a vehicle; paperwork was later given to the delivery truck owner/operator by police.
• A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle, resulting in injuries and the need for surgery.
• SSI RCMP were called to a male who stated he had been threatened to be shot with a long bow; no charges were laid at the request of the male who reported the incident.
• SSI RCMP were called to a female who was threatening to cut herself with a knife and broken glass; the female was subsequently taken to hospital for assessment.
• Police were contacted by a male who advised his power was out and he needed help starting his generator; police attended and power was restored.
• SSI RCMP were advised of people illegally harvesting clams on the west side of Salt Spring. Police attended and confirmed the legal licence of the harvesters.
• Police responded to a domestic violence situation where one partner was struck by the other with a hammer; the investigation is continuing.
• A male was assaulted downtown with a wooden fence post; the investigation is continuing
This past year has been one of challenge, stress, frustration and worry. It has also been a year of kindness, following rules for the sake of others, generosity and patience. Salt Spring RCMP wish to thank everyone for their patience and support of each other and provincial health directions during this pandemic.