36 per cent of non-emergency calls to Vernon RCMP are not a police matter


Make the right call

With the surge in demand for emergency services, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP wants to remind the public to ‘make the right call’ during the busy summer months.

Const. Chris Terleski said E-Comm, the agency responsible for handling the majority of emergency calls in the province, reports up to 36 per cent of police non-emergency calls do not belong on these lines and need to be directed to other more appropriate resources.

“Our detachment is supported by E-Comm and the Southeast District RCMP Operational Communication Centre (OCC), which is one of the largest and busiest RCMP 911 police dispatch centres in Canada,” said Terleski. “Often, calls to police non-emergency lines are not police matters and should be referred to another agency such as ICBC, the BC Residential Tenancy Branch, or municipal bylaw services. Any time we can direct these calls to a more appropriate resource, not only does it save time, but it eases the strain on E-Comm and our OCC and ensures essential communication lines remain free for emergency and police matters.
Anyone experiencing a life-threatening emergency, is urged to call 911, but if the call is of a non-urgent nature, people are asked to:

  • check online to see if you should call your local police non-emergency line;
  • report the incident using our online crime-reporting tool at https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/bc/en;
  • or reach out to an alternate resource.

A full list of links to online crime reporting and non-emergency phone numbers is available through E-Comm.

RCMP will notify the public when a travel road check is active in BC


Notification of road checks

The RCMP says it will be notifying the public when a road check for non-essential travel is active in B.C. and expect to be taking an educational approach while screening motorists, with the expectation that most residents will comply with the travel ban.

Chief Superintendent Dave Attfield issued that statement hours after solicitor general Mike Farworth authorized police to conduct road checks, and more than a week after the National Police Federation raised concerns over police involvement, saying such enforcement would put officers at greater risk and further stretch limited resources.

Farnworth unveiled more details on the travel ban Friday, including the fact road checks will only be conducted to limit travel within certain regions of the province, and will not keep travellers from other provinces out.

Attfield stressed the emphasis for police will be on educating the public about the order.

“(We will be) identifying whether or not the purpose for travel is essential as listed in the order, and providing every opportunity for travellers to turn around voluntarily,” said Attfield.

“It is anticipated that the vast majority of travellers will voluntarily comply, minimizing the need for enforcement.”

Such enforcement, Farnworth outlined earlier in the day, could include a $575 fine for breaking the health order.

Attfield says the RCMP is in the process of determining where checks will be conducted, but stressed random checks of vehicles or people will not be conducted as part of the road checks.

“Enforcement will only occur at the designated road check locations on highways 1, 3, 5 and 99 near to the boundaries between the combined Coastal and Fraser Health regions and the combined Northern and Interior Health regions.

“When a road check is active, a notification will also been made on the BC RCMP website and social media channels.”

Signs will also be placed well enough ahead of the road check to give motorists an opportunity to safely turn around if the purpose of their travel is not essential.

Attfield also indicated all checks will be conducted by a dedicated team, and will not impact police service in communities the RCMP serve.

“In preparation for the upcoming checks we would ask the public review the restrictions and provisions that the provincial government has issued, and to avoid non-essential travel between the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and Northern/Interior regions.”

Penticton RCMP warn of ‘alarming’ uptick in impaired driving

‘Alarming’ impaired driving

Penticton RCMP say there was an “alarming” increase in impaired driving incidents this January.

Cst. James Grandy said there were four serious incidents within the final 10 days of the month, which resulted in recommended criminal charges.

On Jan. 21, a vehicle passed an officer at over 150 km/hr, causing the officer to pull the offender over.

A specially trained drug recognition officer was called to the scene after the officer suspected substances were involved. After road-side testing, the driver was found to be impaired by drugs.

The driver had his vehicle impounded, and charges were recommended to the BC Prosecution Service.

On Jan. 23, an officer stopped a suspicious vehicle on Fairview Avenue, and immediately suspected he may be under the influence of a drug or alcohol. After testing, the 55-year-old driver was found to be impaired, and arrested.

On Jan. 26, a 33-year-old female was reported to be passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle on Leir Street. Before officers could arrive, the female drove off erratically down the street. Officers caught up to her on Carmi Avenue, and determined she was impaired by drugs. Charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle were forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service.

On Jan. 29, a driver was found near Orchard Avenue in his vehicle, using drugs while the car was still running. He was arrested and the vehicle impounded. Charges against the 32-year-old Penticton resident include possessing a controlled substance, and driving while being impaired by a drug.

“It’s very concerning to see this alarming increase in people getting behind the wheel while impaired by substances,” Grandy said.

“These particular cases highlight a significant concern for all who share the road. We want to stress to those who use recreational drugs, including marijuana, not to use them and drive in our communities.”

Internet Safety Tips for Your Children

internet_safety_01Better than a library, the Internet is a virtual storeroom of knowledge. Along your route you will visit websites, check into chat rooms, pop into forums and bookmark your favourite sites along the way. You will learn a new computer language such as LOL, (laugh out loud), that Spam does not always come in a can and that trolls don’t live under a bridge in your fairy tale books from your childhood.

Because cyberspace is such a large virtual world there is so much to experience and you don’t even have to leave your chair. You can use the search engines or links to other websites to find all you need. You will be treated to inside looks at famous places, learn about current events, shop for a bargain. You can even start-up a new business or form an email group.

Children are believers in magic and make believe. They will easily walk off a path with a stranger in search of a lost puppy or kitty cat. They are vulnerable from every angle, and as a parent you are responsible to keep them as safe as possible if they use the Internet.

Learn how to keep your children safe on the Internet. So many parents say “my child would never meet anyone from the Internet” ….yet the reality is that so many kids are looking for something more … someone more … more love … more attention … and when a stranger tells them how wonderful they are and how happy they can make them … don’t be fooled! Your kids will believe them.

Internet Safety Tips for Your Children

internet_safety_02Talk openly with your child; many youngsters mature a lot faster than their parents give them credit for. Really listen to your child, show that not only do you expect to have respect, but that you have respect for them as well.

Make a game about sitting with them while they are on the Internet. Learn how to watch their activities without overdoing it.

Keep the computer in an open area, like the living room or kitchen. Don’t allow your child a place where they can have full privacy. Glance at the screen every time you pass the computer without slowing down and being obvious, unless you see something very objectionable.

Use the parental control software available and password-protect your computer.

Check out the email folders often. Also look for additional folders the child can make and store their emails in. Don’t be deceived by the titles of the folders; one parent reported that a file labelled “Pet Pictures” turned out to be undesirable photos.

Your child uses computers at school, friend’s houses and at the library. Find out what safeguards are in place on these computers that will keep your child away from predators.

Remember your child is a victim, not a willing participant. If you find your child has been targeted, call the RCMP immediately. The guilty one is the human predator that picked your child for various reasons to prey upon.

Tell your children to never arrange for a one-on-one meeting with anyone they meet online.

Never upload or post photos without parental approval.

Never give out personal information over the Internet, including phone number, address, first or last names, schools that are attend or sports teams you are on.

Anyone can be anybody on the Internet and there are no repercussions. Do not believe all the hard-luck stories and keep your wits about you when you surf the net.

If your child receives adult content emails, what should you do?

Check the laws with your local RCMP detachment.

Should I just lock my child off the Internet?

For all the bad things that can happen to a child online, the Internet also holds good things. Your child can learn about the world, they can explore countries they have only heard about, pick up pen pals for direct mail contact, and learn about subjects they are studying in school. Restricting them is not a good idea, but talking with your children and monitoring their activities will help to keep them safe and informed. And as a parent, that is your job.

Your child’s safety is paramount.