The release of crime statistics for 2017 isn’t going to cause any major waves in Sooke.
Although Sooke RCMP takes a look at the annual statistics for crime which were released by Statistics Canada last week, “We’re not terribly driven by them,” said Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur, head of the local RCMP detachment.
“In smaller communities like Sooke, it can appear that there’s a spike in crime based on the activities of one individual. Long before the stats are released, we’re well aware of, say, a spike in break and enters and are already working to drive it down, whereas a bigger community may not be as quick to pick up an increase or a trend.”
Quite often what looks like a trend in something like property crime is the result of activity over a period of a couple of months by one or two individuals. “That will disappear once they’re charged and arrested,” he explained.
McArthur said although the detachment has made good progress in drug and traffic enforcement during the four years he has been in Sooke, the use of hard drugs, cocaine methamphetamine and opiates is always a concern. “That’s not a reflection on Sooke. It’s no different than most communities in B.C.”
McArthur said one of the detachment’s priorities for 2018 and 2019 continues to be an increase in immediate roadside prohibitions and impaired charges. “Keeping our roads safe is a high priority.”
The addition of funding for two officers by the District of Sooke has helped, he said, “but the reality is we’re a growing community.”
For a detailed look at the annual police-reported crime statistics, please go online to www.statcan.gc.ca.