Pubdate: Thu, 21 Dec 2006
Source: Williams Lake Tribune, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Williams Lake Tribune


You have to look at the type of crime that is being committed when 
you look at the crime statistics, says Smithers RCMP Staff Sergeant 
Rod Holland.

Smithers was named British Columbia's crime capital for 2005, 
Williams Lake is second and Quesnel third.

"Much of the crime in Smithers is non-violent," says Holland. A lot 
of the crime is break and enters to support drug habits and vehicle 
theft while under the influence. He also says that like Williams 
Lake, much of the crime is fueled by substance abuse, which is why 
Smithers is now targeting that issue.

Also like Williams Lake, Smithers is a regional hub city meaning 
people from outlying areas come to town to shop and for celebrations. 
Holland says about 65 per cent of the crime is happening within 
municipal boundaries, and if you look outside the boundaries you 
would find the area is on par with the provincial average.

The Smithers RCMP Detachment has 16 members on general duty who carry 
caseload of about 20 to 30 on an average day, says Holland. Like 
Williams Lake, members find workdays busy. The Smithers detachment 
has three traffic service members who cover a larger area.

Holland says he has worked in seven different detachments and admits 
it is busy in Smithers.

"It's not a sleepy hollow, it's busy," he says. But in comparison to 
a larger city like Kelowna, the crimes are different.

"You have to quantify the types of crime," he says.

You will see a lot more violent crime in the larger urban centre, he adds.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman