The Comox Valley RCMP wants local governments to reconsider the detachment’s role in collecting and returning stolen property to residents, with an emphasis on bicycles.
RCMP inspector Tim Walton presented a request for a staffing increase to Courtenay city council last month.
In his presentation, he also mentioned the length of time mounties spend on tasks the detachment has traditionally performed, but are not part of their policing services agreement with the municipality.
“I’m advising council that I’d like to eliminate handling most of the found property that is reported to police each day,” he said at the meeting.
He specifically mentioned the large amount of time the RCMP spends on collecting stolen or found bicycles.
“Each bike found requires an hour or more to pick it up, check to see if it’s reported stolen, tag it, enter it into our records system, move it into storage, and then move it to a community partner for final disposal,” he said.
The “community partner” is the Therapeutic Riding Society, an equestrian non-profit society located on Headquarters Road.
The group refurbishes the bicycles and holds a used bike sale two days per week.
According to Walton, the RCMP collected over 150 found bicycles in the Comox Valley last year. He said the staff time devoted to those tasks equaled about $15,000.
“It costs the taxpayers more money than most of the bikes are worth,” he said.