A month of policing in Nanaimo


2021-06-21 08:01 PDT

File # 2021-16351

The month of May is traditionally a busy time for Nanaimo Mounties. The Victoria Day long weekend will see boats hitting the water for the first time, campgrounds filling up, and with COVID vaccines in full swing, bar patios filling up. All these activities combined with many more, lead to 4250 calls for service in just one month, which is a 10 percent increase from May 2020.

Not surprisingly, check well-being calls were the most prevalent, comprising of 7 percent or almost 300 calls for service in the month of May alone, said Constable Gary O’Brien.

Check well-being calls often have a mental health component that requires a minimum of two police officers. Also, if it is determined that the individual being assessed requires hospitalization, the call may end up taking several hours to resolve. A significant number of these calls are now handled by the Mental Health Liaison Officer for the detachment. Cst Waltman and his team of outreach nurses, are having an significant impact on often to hard to reach repeat clients.

Next, the most prevalent calls are thefts followed by mischief and disturbances;each category making up roughly 6 percent of calls for the month. These were followed closely by traffic incidents, harassment and abandoned 911 calls

The majority of thefts are considered crimes of opportunity and are preventable. Ensuring valuables are never left in vehicles and doors and windows are locked is essential. Additionally, thieves will often target backyard sheds that contain highly sought items such as weed eaters, leaf blowers and lawn motors. Sheds may contain $1000’s of dollars of lawn equipment yet are secured with a 2-dollar lock, what’s wrong with that picture? said O’Brien.

The following is a sampling of some of the calls our officers responded to in May:

Nanaimo file # 2021-16351 Any police officer will tell you that the call they are dispatched to, never ends up as it seems. On May 5th, officers responded to report of a stabbing at a home in south Nanaimo. EHS was waiting nearby for the officers to arrive so they could enter safely and treat possible victims. When officers entered the home, they did not find any victims of a stabbing but did locate two highly intoxicated adults. One was arrested for an outstanding warrant and the other for Mischief. Both were held in custody until they were deemed sober to be safely released, which is generally 4 to 8 hours.

Nanaimo file # 2021-16873 Not all check well-being calls are stressful and time consuming. On May 10th, officers responded to a home in central Nanaimo after a caller indicated that he had been unsuccessfully been trying to reach his friend and was worried for his well-being. He also said his friend had recently made some troubling comments. Later that day, officers managed to track the individual down and speak with him. He was very grateful for the check in and reassured the officers that he was OK and that he was simply going through a rough patch. He assured them his outlook was better now, and that he much to live and look forward to. He thanked the officers again for taking the time to check in on him.

Nanaimo file # 2021-18528 Just before 6 pm on Friday May 21st, a caller reported a disturbance involving a woman freaking out in the alley way off Haliburton St. The woman was reportedly screaming at anyone who walked past, and was throwing random items at passing vehicles. Officers attended but could not locate her. Based on the description given, the officers were confident they knew who the woman was. The caller was updated and informed the officers that the woman she saw, is currently homeless and has significant mental health issues coupled with multiple drug additions. The officers assured the caller that they are working with outreach teams to provide her with support. The caller was sympathetic and thanked the officers for the update.

Nanaimo file # 2021-18497 On May 21st, police received a check well-being request for a man who had not been seen for several days. His friends were very concerned for safety. Officers responded to his last known address and managed to speak with him. When asked, he told the officers he was experiencing some significant personal issues but that he was not thinking of hurting himself. The attending officer offered to drive him to the local hospital for an assessment but the offer was declined. The caller was updated and was glad to hear his friend was doing ok.

Nanaimo file # 2021-16658 On May 8th, officers responded to an abandoned 911 call from a residence in north Nanaimo. During the month of May, police responded to almost 150 similar calls. Each requires a police response as it is unknown if it is a true emergency or simply kids pranking or an accidental dial. In this case, the attending officers spoke with a woman who was trying to make an international call and accidentally dialed 911. The officer was satisfied there was no emergency and explained to her why he attended to her home. The woman understood and apologized for taking him away from his other duties.

There are various ways crimes can be reported. Remember, 911( police, fire, ambulance) and is for emergencies only. If it is not an emergency, you can call the non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, or if you meet the following criteria the online crime reporting tool is another option:

To access go to the online reporting tool go to https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/nanaimo/en 

Released by

Cst. Gary O'Brien

Media Relations Officer
Nanaimo RCMP
303 Prideaux St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2N3
Office: 250-755-4460 Ext. 4533
Cell: 250-713-0701
Fax: 250-755-3238

Email: gary.obrien@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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