Police are seeing more instances of theft in Pemberton but statistics on their own can be misleading, according to officers who spoke at a Pemberton-Mount Currie joint council meeting two weeks ago.
Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair of the Whistler RCMP and Staff Sgt. Marshall Seniuk of the Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police presented statistics relating to various crimes in both communities.
LeClair brought forward statistics that showed 32 instances of theft under $5,000 in 2009, up from 16 in 2008. Though the statistics show an increase, LeClair said in an interview that they're not as serious as they look on paper.
"I reviewed those 32 reports that we had," he said. "Nine of those reports were actually civil matters, seven of the incidents weren't thefts but items misplaced and later found and five of the incidents have suspects identified, 10 with no suspects.
"They're all different types of thefts, but I can tell you, none of these are bicycles because bicycles are a different category."
Asked why he didn't include bike thefts, a topic of great concern to residents in Whistler and Pemberton, he said police have "thousands of different categories" organized via a computer and that at some point he needed to show council some statistics.
"For instance at the meeting, Mayor (Jordan) Sturdy said he'd like to see a report on meth use (and) a councillor wanted to see a report on 24-hour suspensions and impaired driving investigations," he said. "Those weren't included because they weren't in previous years.
"Should they want them, they're available, it's just a matter of drilling into them. With the thousands of reports we get we don't want to put every category in there."
But statistics related to impaired driving were included in previous years. Pemberton council received statistics on May 6, 2008 that showed driving-related charges climbing between 2007 and 2008. From Oct. 1, 2007 to April 1, 2008 there were nine charges of impaired driving - up three from the same period a year earlier.
LeClair is, however, an officer posted to the Whistler detachment and he said if council wants those statistics they can request them.
Other statistics he reported included motor vehicle incidents with damage over $1,000 from the period of Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 in both 2008 and 2009. A report from the RCMP shows that incidents went up to 35 from 27 a year earlier, but LeClair said it hasn't actually jumped that significantly.
"There's three categories of accidents, there's damage over $1,000, fatal accidents and injury accidents," he said. "In 2008 from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 we had 27 damaged over $1,000, zero fatals and 12 injury accidents. Now the following year, Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2009, we had 35 damages over $1,000, zero fatals and five injury accidents.
"So the total number of accidents in 2008 was 27 plus 12 is 39, and that went to 40 in 2008, so there's one accident more over the year."
Seniuk, meanwhile, provided statistics for an area that includes Mount Currie and D'Arcy. He reported a drop in most instances, with the most dramatic coming in relation to alcohol. Reporting instances between Jan. 1 and Oct. 22 of both years, he said public intoxication charges decreased 23.7 per cent from 152 counts in 2008 to 116 in 2009.
Other charges related to liquor were reduced from 51 to 17, a decrease of 66.7 per cent.
Traffic charges dropped dramatically from 125 in 2008 to 46 in 2009, a drop of 63.2 per cent.
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