Saturday, May 25, 2024
May 25, 2024

RCMP reports busy 1st quarter

Submitted by Salt Spring Island RCMP 

In the first three months of 2024, Salt Spring Island RCMP responded to 563 calls for service, an average of over six calls per day ranging from traffic-related reports, bylaw infractions, liquor-related complaints, marine enforcement and Criminal Code investigations. Four firearms offences, nine sexual assaults and 42 mental health-related incidents were also reported to police during this quarter.  

In addition to the six calls per day, Salt Spring RCMP also conducted 423 foot patrols in downtown Ganges and various parks (averaging 4+ per day), 162 licenced premises checks (bar walks) and issued approximately 200 warnings and violation tickets to drivers & registered owners for Motor Vehicle Act violations; 25 impaired drivers were taken off the road during this period.

In the first quarter of 2024, foot patrols, bar checks, and traffic enforcement had all increased in number when compared with the same period in 2023. 

Salt Spring RCMP also conducted various public speaking events including Ask Salt Spring and presentations at local schools. In February, SSI RCMP assisted Transport Canada with patrols in Ganges Harbour where marine enforcement took place, resulting in multiple boats being removed from the Harbour due to their abandoned and derelict state. Additional patrols and enforcement with Transport Canada is expected to continue throughout the spring and summer of 2024. 

Some of the calls for the 1st quarter are detailed below: 

January 2024

  • A person who had been taken to a health care facility for a mental health assessment subsequently ran away, requiring police to conduct a search for the person. After hours of searching by multiple officers, the person was located and returned to the hospital. 
  • An erratic driver was caught by police after leaving a local bar and driving unsafely. The driver was found to be impaired and after being arrested, tried to resist police; the driver was subsequently arrested for Impaired Driving and Obstructing a Peace Officer. Their driver’s licence was seized by police, their driving privileges suspended, their vehicle towed and one Criminal Code offence of Obstruct Peace Officer has been recommended to Crown Counsel. 
  • Two checkstops (checks for impaired drivers) were conducted in a single evening, resulting in two drivers found to be impaired, their driver’s licences seized, and their vehicles towed. 
  • A report was made to police of a person trespassing at a local business; the person was located by police and escorted off the property. 
  • A driver was found to be driving without a valid licence; their expired out-of-province licence was seized and their vehicle was impounded. 
  • An elderly resident of Salt Spring was found walking in the rain without awareness of their surroundings or the location of their home; police re-united the person with friends and ensured their safe return home. 
  • A report of fraud was received by police where the person had been told by someone alleging to be “Microsoft Support” to pay $1,500.00 in gift cards because of alleged malware on the victim’s computer. Fortunately, no money was lost through this fraudulent attempt. 
  • A search warrant was executed at a residence on Salt Spring as a result of a child pornography investigation. Electronic devices and evidence of firearms trafficking were seized. The complex investigation is ongoing and is expected to take several months.  
  • Police responded to a report of two persons fighting in downtown Ganges, one person was armed with a knife and one person was armed with a steel baton. Both persons were subsequently arrested and charges have been recommended to Crown Counsel. Since this incident both have been subsequently arrested on new charges with one suspect held in custody.  
  • Attending a traffic complaint, police assessed the driver and deemed the driver to need an assessment to maintain their licence; a recommendation was made to Motor Vehicles for the driver to be examined for fitness for driving, and if not fit, for their licence to be revoked. 
  • Police investigated a robbery that took place at a business on Salt Spring; the suspect was arrested and held for court. The suspect was later released by a judge with another court date pending. 

February: 

  • A traffic stop was initiated after a vehicle was found to be driving without operable taillights; the driver was found to be impaired by alcohol. Their driver’s licence was seized, violation tickets issued and their vehicle impounded for 30 days. 
  • Police responded to a reported assault where dog feces was thrown at a person; an arrest was made and charges were recommended to Crown Counsel. 
  • A traffic stop took place to check on a driver’s sobriety after they had previously received an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) for impaired driving four months ago. The driver was again found to be driving while impaired and was subsequently arrested for Criminal Code charges of Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Operate a Motor Vehicle Over 80mg%. Their vehicle was impounded again. A court date is pending. 
  • SSI RCMP responded to a person who had threatened to shoot themselves; police attended and de-escalated the situation without incident. 
  • Police responded to a person who had threatened to hang themselves; they were apprehended under the Mental Health Act and transported to Lady Minto Hospital for assessment. 
  • A driver was caught speeding 130km/hr in an 80km/hr zone. The driver was assessed and deemed to be driving impaired; violation tickets were issued, their licence seized, and their vehicle impounded. 
  • SSI RCMP conducted a marine stop and checked a boat and operator; the boater was found to not be carrying their Pleasure Craft Operator’s Licence (PCOC) card on them and a written warning was issued. 
  • Police conducted a traffic stop and the driver was found to be impaired by alcohol. The passenger confronted and assaulted Police, and then fled the scene. The passenger was arrested minutes later for Obstruction and Assault Peace Officer and taken to jail. The driver was served an IRP, had their licence seized, and their vehicle impounded. 
  • A male who had been previously arrested for violence and released on several conditions including not to be on Salt Spring Island was found walking in Ganges. The male was arrested and held for court. As of April 2, 2024, the male remains in custody pending his next court date. 

March: 

  • Police responded to a call for a driver possibly impaired by drugs. Police located the vehicle and confirmed the driver was operating the vehicle while smoking drugs. An unsecured shotgun and shells were seized, along with other drug paraphernalia; the driver was arrested for Unsafe Storage of a Firearm and charges are pending. 
  • A request from Surrey RCMP to SSI RCMP was made to check on the well-being of children in a home on Salt Spring. Police conducted a check on the children and residence, noting no concerns for the children’s safety. 
  • Police were called by a person reporting “poor parenting” in regards to their ex-spouse and how their children were being parented. No criminal acts had occurred. Police encouraged respectful dialogue and counselling options; no charges were laid. 
  • Police were advised of two people openly drinking liquor in public; upon police arrival, both persons had already departed the scene. 
  • SSI RCMP responded to a reported stabbing; one person was taken into custody while the victim was transported to hospital for their injuries. Charges are being recommended to Crown Counsel. 
  • Police received a report of a large dismembered domestic animal being found in a wooded area on Salt Spring; nothing nefarious or criminal is suspected at this time. 
  • An intoxicated person was located in downtown Ganges; the person was arrested and placed in cells until their release when sober. 

We would like to remind business owners and employees to be safe when dealing with a person who is stealing merchandise. The police do not encourage staff to apprehend the person by themselves, but rather to take a picture/video of the suspect (if safe to do so) and call the police at the time of the theft.  

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