The Powell River RCMP says crime rates have gone up in the area since 2018 but wants to keep the relationship between officers and residents strong.

The Angus Reid Institute released a report that found nearly half of Canadians in 2018 felt their community was seeing a higher crime rate and they didn’t trust their local policing department as much.

The report outlined that 48 percent of Canadians said crime has increased in their community over the past five years, up from 42 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2014.

Powell River RCMP Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant Rob Wiebe says he agrees with some parts of the report, like the increases in crime rates.

“Detachment personnel responded to 6501 calls for service in 2019, up from 5750 in 2018. The Crime Severity Index has also increased this year to 81 which is above the Canadian average of 75.”

“Given these numbers, if a Powell River resident was one of the 223 people from BC surveyed, they are correct that crime has increased in Powell River, it just isn’t a perception, says Wiebe.

Other parts, such as the trust issues with officers, he feels that without the relationship between officers and residents the RCMP simply wouldn’t be able to function properly.

“I take the trust issue very seriously because without it we would be a very ineffective police service.”

“If any Powell River resident has a reduced trust in the local detachment I would very much like to have a conversation with them to explore ways to move forward and regain that trust,” Wiebe added.

Over the next few months community consultations will be taking place to set priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, including presentations to Local Governments and Ratepayers’ Associations.

Wiebe said no matter what, if there is an issue you should come to talk to the detachment.

“Ultimately we are your Police Service and anytime a resident would like to discuss policing issues my door is always open.”