Cumberland has seen a slight decrease in criminal activity based on the number of files.
This was one of the main points during a presentation to council earlier this month by Insp. Mike Kurvers of the Comox Valley RCMP. The head of the area detachment has been meeting with local governments.
For Cumberland, he was invited to the May 11 meeting to provide an overview from his community report.
“The Village file count actually went down,” he told council. “That’s a seven per cent decrease if you like statistics.”
The number of files from the community went from 792 to 739 last year.
Kurvers listed off the 10 most common file types in the community, which together accounted for almost half of the cases. The top categories were: traffic (71 files), suspicious activity calls (42) and mischief $5,000 or less (39).
“That’s damage to property typically when it’s under $5,000, like when it’s defacing property,” he said.
Following these were unspecified assistance calls (37), property loss such as lost wallets (34), causing a disturbance such as loitering, or yelling and screaming (29), theft from a motor vehicle under $5,000, typically for items like credit cards or loose change (29), breach of peace (27), bylaw noise complaints (26) and calls under the Mental Health Act (20).
“Those are the individuals that need our assistance one way or another,” Kurvers said.
These calls typically involve an initial assessment at the scene. In some cases, a person can be arrested and taken in for further assessment by a crisis nurse or to the hospital.
As far as other offences, for break-and-enters, there were six residential, five business and seven other cases.
Five vehicles over $5,000 were taken, including two automobiles, two motorcycles and one truck. There were two files involving theft of motor vehicles under $5,000.
Kurvers provided maps showing the density and geographical breakdown of offences, such as break-ins.
“They’re kind of sporadic, all over the place,” he said. “There’s no real rhyme or reason where they are.”
The auto thefts were also spread through the community. Kurvers added that while there were few vehicles taken, thefts from vehicles remains a challenge throughout the Comox Valley,
“We’re trying to combat that as best we can,” he said.
Most categories were spread throughout Cumberland, though the occasional one such as mischief – for example, pulling down signs – was concentrated in a particular area, in this case, Dunsmuir Avenue.
Finally, Kurvers also outlined the top priorities for the RCMP in the Village, which include crime reduction, police and community relations, safety of water traffic, road safety and issues at parks and campgrounds. He noted the RCMP had just had their boat on the lake.
Members of council asked about a number of concerns, such as repeat offenders, unlicensed motor vehicles like motorcycles, illegal parking and community policing.
“My vision is just being on the street and dealing with the community and the public on a face-to-face basis,” Kurvers said. “That’s the mandate of our bike section.”