The Smithers RCMP detachment commander highlighted a number of noteworthy arrests by the detachment at a quarterly update presented to Smithers Town Council on Nov. 26.
One such arrest involved a male threatening people with a sawed-off .22 calibre rifle.
“On September 12 police located and arrested the male,” said a report presented by Staff Sgt. Terry Gillespie. “A firearm matching the description given by the complainant was located subsequent to his arrest. The firearm is prohibited and the male did not possess a firearms licence.”
Another report detailed a stolen quad being operated on Railway Avenue in Smithers.
“The quad appeared to be stolen and the driver was breaching court conditions. Once searched methamphetamine and fentanyl were located on his person.”
In another incident, police stopped and arrested a man behind the Twin Valley Inn around 1:45 a.m. on Aug. 31 after seeing a machete sticking out of his backpack.
“The male … was detained for the investigation of possession of dangerous weapons. A safety pat down of the male found three more knives on his belt and in his pockets. The male was arrested and a search located a butterfly knife in his pack, a vial of suspected meth, a vial of suspected purple fentanyl and a small baggy containing four clonazepam pills. The male was transported to the detachment where further search located a baggy of meth, possible heroin and more purple fentanyl.”
In all of the above cases, RCMP say charges were forwarded to the Crown.
Discussing statistics for Smithers, Gillespie said the detachment has responded to or created 1,645 calls for service within the detachment area in the last year, slightly down from 1660 calls in 2018.
Of those files, 453 were drug-related, a seven per cent increase from the same period in 2018 (423).
Conversely, calls relating to violence in relationships dropped by a little over nine per cent — from 57 in 2018 to 52 this year.
During the presentation Gillespie highlighted a number of the detachment’s goals, including reducing alcohol and drug consumption, enhancing the relationship between police and the tackling the issue of distracted driving.
Gillespie noted a campaign for the latter goal recently made a big push, with a day-long effort in the town to remind drivers not to use their cellphones while in the car.
“Even with the big billboard there and the sign saying not to drive distracted we still got three people on their cellphones right in front of the sign,” he said.
In response to a question from councillor Lorne Benson about drug-related statistics, Gillespie noted the RCMP are noticing a heavy flow into Smithers.
“With industry coming, we can expect that to be a significant concern… where there’s money there’s going to be drugs as well.”