While the opioid epidemic continues to burden every police force in the province, Port Alberni RCMP Inspector Brian Hunter said his officers are working hard to bring all criminals to justice.
He told city council on Tuesday that while property crimes are up by 30% in Port Alberni this year, they’re also up by 24% in Nanaimo, and a whopping 59% in Oceanside.
Hunter said despite being under-resourced, Port Alberni police have one of the best arrest rates in the province.
“Our detachment has one of the best solve rates in the entire province,” said Hunter. “Provincial average for solving crime is 28%, and the Port Alberni detachment is at is 54%. When it gets into violent crime, the provincial average at solving violent crime is 53%, and in Port Alberni we solve 90% of our violent crime.” he said.
Hunter said despite the heavy workload, morale within the detachment is high, and his officers are determined to bring criminals to justice.
He warned against blaming a perceived increase in homeless people for the increase in property crimes, and put the blame squarely on opioid addicts willing to steal anything to trade for their next hit.
He said it’s a problem being faced in every Canadian community and the police are working with the courts and governments to search for ways to bring it under control.