Pubdate: Fri, 04 Mar 2011
Source: Comox Valley Echo (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Comox Valley Echo
Author: Tamara Cunningham, Comox Valley Echo


Comox Valley RCMP is bumping up forces in Cumberland this month after
a home invasion left two men blooded and battered.

Beginning this week, village residents will see more road-stops,
traffic patrols and drop-ins from police at local pubs, said Mayor
Fred Bates at a public meeting Monday.

"It would (also) be very helpful if people would call in if they see
or witness any issues ... it helps police and helps us as a
community," he said.

The extra forces in Cumberland are a result of a home invasion that
happened on Allen Avenue, Feb. 14.

Two or three people broke into the home and beat two men with a weapon
"pretty badly" and demanded money, police said.

The victims are both known to police and investigators believe the
attacks were drug-related.

Bates said anytime there is a serious crime, like a home invasion, the
public is in danger. This is "very serious," he said.

Const. Don Sinclair, spokesperson for the Comox Valley RCMP, said
they're aware such graphic violence has concerned village residents.
This was not a random attack, however, he said.

It was a result of Cumberland's drug culture.

"There is a public perception around this in regards to someone
getting beaten up ... that it's happening in other parts of Cumberland
too," he said.

"We are going to try and do more to be proactive and maybe stop some
of these events before they happen."

As part of the efforts, police will crack down on street level drug
crime in the Comox Valley, with a focus on the Village of Cumberland.

They will be arresting and investigating small-time drug traffickers
and lower-level dealers first.

The Compassion Club is one of the organizations police have

Police raided the North Island Compassion Club, a medical marijuana
group in Courtenay on Feb. 18, seizing several pounds of marijuana and
arresting four people. Two have been charged.

RCMP spokespeople said there was concern the club had become a front
for marijuana dealing.

The club serves 200 people.

"The Compassion Club is just a minor step because when you sell
marijuana you are getting it from somewhere," Sinclair said.

Police hope by halting petty drug crimes they can stop associated
violence and make people feel safer. 
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