The Inspector of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment recently provided an update to North Cowichan council on what’s been happening at the local detachment.

Calls for service increased by more than nine per cent in 2018 (17,137 in 2018 compared to 15,631 in 2017) and Bear said drug-related policing and education have been and continue to be priorities locally.

“We designate a number of hot spots, which are areas of concern or high crime rate areas, we designate those for officers to patrol,” said Bear. “We’re trying to increase drug projects and drug search warrants to affect those, along with increasing confidential informants at the detachment and doing training seminars on drug investigations.”

Bear said since cannabis legislation has come into effect, educating officers has been a major focus.

“We’ve been educating a lot more of our officers in regards to standardized field sobriety training and drug recognition experts,” said Bear.

From January through to September, 21 per cent of the calls police responded to came from Duncan, 48 per cent came from the Municipality of North Cowichan, 14 per cent came from First Nations land and the rest came from the provincial area or from people who walked into the office directly.