Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jun 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist
Author: Rob Shaw


The number of drug possession, drug-trafficking and break-and-enter 
charges in the West Shore has mostly decreased or stayed the same in 
the past two years, according to police.

Statistics prepared by West Shore RCMP show some types of drug 
charges, break and enters and assaults were down in 2007 compared to 
2006, while theft from vehicles, of vehicles, and marijuana grow 
operations rose slightly in the same period.

The numbers only show charges laid by police, and don't capture the 
scope of unreported or unsolved crimes.

Nonetheless, the figures fit with the RCMP's position that crime 
rates haven't changed very much in the past three years, said West 
Shore RCMP Const. Tasha Adams.

The mayors of Colwood and Langford called on the RCMP to delve into 
the West Shore's drug issues last week after the murder of Keith 
Taylor in Colwood. Taylor had a long criminal history, including 
convictions for drug offences. Highlands Coun. Ken Brotherston, and 
his sons Ken Jr. and Greg, have been charged with first-degree murder 
and unlawful confinement.

Langford Mayor Stew Young suggested the RCMP create a dedicated drug 
squad for the West Shore. Senior Mounties have yet to publicly 
respond to the idea.

"Just because we've had a homicide in the area doesn't mean drug 
offences have increased," said Adams.

West Shore RCMP already have a street crime unit as part of the 
50-officer detachment. However, some of the most experienced street 
crime officers have left the Mounties in recent years to work at 
municipal police forces.

RCMP statistics show police have laid:

- - 12 charges of trafficking marijuana in 2007, compared to six in 2006

- - 16 charges of production of marijuana, compared to 10

- - 23 charges of possession of cocaine, compared to 30

- - 12 charges of trafficking cocaine, compared to 15

- - 26 charges of "other scheduled drugs," compared to 20.
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