No big increase in calls for RCMP during COVID-19 crisis

RCMP top cop talks virus

The Penticton Detachment of the RCMP has not seen an increase in crime due to the coronavirus.

However, there has been no increase in call-outs.

“It’s business as usual for us. We temporarily shut down our front counter services — the finger printing, criminal record checks — just to limit the possibility of bringing the virus into the detachment,” said Penticton RCMP Superintendent Brian Hunter.

“We are doing our part with physical distancing and flattening the curve. Where we can out there, our members are practicing the physical distancing in their day-to-day duties. Of course there are those calls for service where we can’t do that, and it’s business as usual in that regard.”

Hunter is adamant the RCMP have taken the virus into account when dealing with residents in the community.

“We have protocols in place with our members to ensure their safety during this health crisis. I think in the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to see if there is an uptick in crime in the community. We haven’t seen that yet,” Hunter said.

“Those out of work and confined to their homes in close quarters and not having the ability to venture out, we’ll see what that looks like in the coming weeks in regards to calls for service. But right now we haven't seen a difference yet."

“It’s business as usual with regard to the calls we’re receiving and our response to those calls. But again, I’m interested to see in the coming weeks and months as this likely is to drag on, what effect that will have in our calls for service. I think our conversation two months from now might be a little bit different, but I don’t know.”

Hunter said the way the detachment handles requests from the public has changed.

“Life hasn’t really changed for our members outside of taking those precautions like everyone else in the world is doing, it’s just our front counter contact where people who come in to the detachment and need fingerprinting for various purposes. We still fingerprint our criminals of course when we arrest them and process them. For those coming in for criminal checks, we don't have that at the front counter anymore. Outside of that, we’re business as usual.”

If residents do need a criminal check, Hunter suggests they work with the organization requesting the information and check out details on-line.

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