RCMP outline annual priorities

This year RCMP will target Houston enforcement on speeding, impaired driving and theft from vehicles.

RCMP Sgt. Rose presented to Houston council last Tuesday outlining RCMP targets for the next year.

Sgt. Rose says one key RCMP goal is to improve road safety, specifically targeting speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving.

With impaired driving, Sgt. Rose says their target is to have 16 formal road checks this year, ten more than last year, and to take 48 impaired drivers off the road through driving prohibitions or licence suspensions.

“But I hope we never get to that number… because I hope that there is not that many people out there that we can actually apprehend,” he said.

Asked by Councillor Rick Lundrigan why they even have a goal of 48, Sgt. Rose says the specific numbers are so that each RCMP member is accountable and responsible to be involved in enforcing the targets.

Another RCMP priority is speeding.

Sgt. Rose says they will be enforcing speeding on Highway 16, especially on the east end of town, and their goal is to issue 216 speeding tickets this year – two per month per officer.

They usually issue three to four warnings for every ticket, but now they are going to be turning a lot of those warnings into tickets, “because some people aren’t getting the message when it comes to speeding,” he said.

Mayor Bill Holmberg affirmed Sgt. Rose for the focus on speeding and said he has noticed speeding through town is a big issue.

“That was one of the directions that we encouraged you guys to go, so kudos to you,” he said.

Besides road safety, Sgt. Rose says they are focusing on thefts from vehicles.

It’s not a documented issue, but Sgt. Rose says they’ve heard of a lot of petty crime that isn’t reported, and they hope to change that.

If someone is being hit with minor thefts from a backyard or vehicle, or is hearing of their neighbour’s being hit, they need to call the police, said Sgt. Rose.

“Because ultimately if we don’t know where it’s occurring, we can’t do anything to prevent it,” he said.

Another problem is people not locking their vehicles.

Sgt. Rose says that there have been zero thefts from vehicles where people actually broke into the vehicle to steal, all of the thefts have been from unlocked vehicles.

RCMP will send out foot patrols to look for unlocked vehicles, leaving reminders in unlocked vehicles for people to lock their doors, Sgt. Rose said.

They are aiming to reduce theft from vehicles by 20 per cent, he said.

They will continue targeting prolific offenders, identifying a different one each week to ensure compliance to court conditions, said Sgt. Rose, adding that they’ve already arrested five of the seven identified prolific offenders.

Sgt. Rose added that two other goals is communication with the community and internal workplace interaction.