RCMP say they noticed a significant increase in certain crimes in 2020 — up to November, while others were down considerably.
Calls to the RCMP were up by over 300 in 2020 from 2019, incoming acting district commander Sgt. Mark Bishop told Town Council during their Dec. 14 Committee of the Whole meeting.
“I noticed on the monthly report, the biggest thing that jumps out to me is the call volume increase,” he said. “The first one that increased I noticed was the number of assaults for the month.
“Of those 72 assaults, 25 were in relation to family violence. Of those 25, 12 resulted in charges being laid. Overall, in November we had a 200-call increase.”
Assaults saw the biggest increase, with 585 in 2020 compared to 515 the year previous. The other major increase was Impaired Driving calls, increasing to 151 from 138. Liquor Act violations ticked up slightly with 165 this year and 161 last year.
Other crimes were less prominent in 2020, including Break and Enters, which were down six from 2019’s total of 27. There were also just 16 motor vehicle thefts this year, compared to 26 last year. Both Theft Under and Over $5000 was also reduced, with only 90 cases of under and one case over compared to 128 and four last year, respectively. There were no calls for bootlegging in either year, and drug crimes were also down, with only 10 calls for possession this year compared to last year’s 11 and 25 calls for trafficking compared to 69 in 2020.
“Other” complaints also saw a big increase, with 1,841 cases in 2020 compared to 1,408 in 2019. In total, RCMP were called 4,631 times in 2020 as of the end of November compared to 4,309 in 2019. Bishop told council he would look into exactly what those calls specifically were.
Numbers for December will be released at an upcoming Town Council Committee of the Whole meeting. Bishop estimated Inuvik RCMP was in line for a 25 per cent increase in 2020.
Councillors raise alarm over Impaired Driving calls and speeders
Several town councillors say residents are expressing concerns over the increased reports of impaired drivers in Inuvik.
Coun. Kurt Wainman and Coun. Ray Solotki both brought up that constituents had raised concerns to them about the problem at Town Council’s Dec. 14 Committee of the Whole.
“There’s been several complaints to me,” said Wainman. “We work on the highways a lot, there’s a lot of drinking and driving on both highways — the (Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway) and the Dempster. People that travel the highway everyday are concerned about how many beer cans are out there and how much is going on.”
His thoughts were echoed by Coun. Ray Solotki.
“There’s been a number of people complaining about some of the speeding going on in town right now,” she said. “I know it’s something that we have to deal with all the time and with limited municipal enforcement, there’s been a lot of people concerned about the speed.”
Senior Administrative Officer said the town would look into prioritizing traffic safety.
Mayor Natasha Kulikowski updated council at their Dec. 16 regular meeting that she had forwarded their concerns to the Inuvik RCMP and was expecting a response shortly.
An RCMP report presented to Town Council Dec. 14 notes complaints of impaired drivers increased to 151 from 138 this year.