Witnesses are needed, say police

RCMP met with residents of Bridesville township on Dec. 4 in the community hall to discuss a significant increase in calls to the community.

Bridesville resident Eric Linden (standing in audience) complained at the town hall meeting in the community hall last week of waiting for over 16 hours for a response from the RCMP.

The small, unincorporated township of Bridesville is seething with anger and frustration. A significant uptick in police calls to attend the townsite prompted the RCMP to call a public meeting last week in the community hall. There have been 53 calls to Bridesville so far this year and at least six arrests but to date no charges have been laid.

“This is almost double the calls compared to the previous two years,” said Sgt. Kevin Schur, Osoyoos RCMP area commander. “We need some help. We need to work together to figure out what is going on and put this thing to bed.”

The mid-day public meeting on Nov. 4 brought out over 50 people. Osoyoos Detachment Cpl. Jay Bayda accompanied Schur to the meeting.

Schur opened the meeting by asking everyone to be respectful of others and setting down some ground rules. “This isn’t the forum to report incidents. If you want to do that, call the detachment.”

Schur gave an explanation of what the police do, what they are capable of doing and what they don’t do. He explained that with only six officers in the Osoyoos detachment, they have to prioritize calls. He said they don’t go to every call and sometimes cannot respond right away if backup officers are not available.

Schur said they too are frustrated with the high call volume, saying it takes officers away from responding to emergencies in other parts of the detachment.

One resident brought a lawyer to the meeting and someone else who videotaped the meeting later told the Times they were recording it on behalf of yet another resident who was not in attendance.

There were four or five people at the meeting who were quite vocal in repeatedly trying to discuss specific incidents and making accusations against others in the community.

Refusing to be drawn into the discussion, Schur explained that in B.C. police only gather evidence and it is the prosecutor’s office that makes the decision to lay charges and the courts that adjudicate.

The prosecutor will bring charges only when there is sufficient evidence, something that has often been lacking.

Schur also discussed how bail and release conditions work, surveillance cameras and why they are better than phone cams, and the difference between civil and criminal court.

But the RCMP mainly tried to stress the importance of evidence. “We need people to look out of their window and not turn away,” Schur said.Options put forward were to form a community watch group and to create a telephone list that would alert everyone in the community if something were happening so they might come to witness.

 

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

From the Hill: The successes and failures of the Elections Modernization Act

Richard Cannings writes about Bill C-76 in From the Hill.

Public invited to annual watershed meeting at Christina Lake

Learn more about invasive species and management planning at Christina Lake.

Boundary Peace Initiative hosts conference in Grand Forks

The conference featured Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

Christina Lake teacher recognized for excellence in education

The provincial music teachers’ award is “a huge honour.”

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read