The fact that drug crime statistics rose in the second quarter of this year is a good thing, according to RCMP Supt. Yves Lacasse.
Numbers for April to June show violations of the controlled drugs and substances act were up 28 per cent from the same period a year ago. Most of those cases would involve drug trafficking.
Federal statute violations — which would mainly involve drugs as well — were up 39 per cent, he said.
The reason for that is because Kamloops RCMP have been focusing on drug crime and generating a lot of court files because of their work, he said.
“That’s a great thing,” he told the City police committee Monday.
Overall, though, the total crime statistics were down 8.4 per cent from the same period in 2011.
The areas of crime that were down were crimes against property (10.6 per cent), other criminal code violations (2.9 per cent), provincial statute violations (22.5 per cent) and traffic violations (22.4 per cent).
The Kamloops detachment has rejigged some of its staff so that there are now two officers designated to deal with violence in relationships, and another officer for the mental health and crisis team who will work with a mental health nurse.
The number of mental health cases the force deals with is high, so that partnership program with Interior Health is expected to be an important one for the RCMP.
Lacasse said he expected the mental health program will have a big impact, particularly downtown.
There’s also a social chronic offender program getting started that initially is dealing with four prolific offenders who churn through the system on a regular basis.
RCMP Insp. Jennie Latham said she expected the number of chronic offenders to eventually climb to 100. They are people who are regularly in and out of detachment cells, often for public drunkenness and other similar issues.