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Crime trends downward in Harrison Hot Springs: RCMP report

Agassiz RCMP presented their 2022 annual report to officials
Representatives with the Agassiz RCMP recapped crime and police trends in 2022 for the Harrison Hot Springs council at their most recent meeting. (File Photo)

Representatives from the Agassiz RCMP detachment offered Harrison officials a snapshot of local crime trends in 2022.

Sgt. Mike Sargent and Insp. Darron Pankrantz of the Agassiz RCMP presented the 2022 annual policing report specific to Harrison Hot Springs at the most recent council meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Calls for service in Harrison Hot Springs dropped by 20 per cent from 2021 to 2022. Emergency calls were down by 56 per cent, while crimes against persons fell by 3 per cent. Property crime is down by 21 per cent, and other criminal code violations dropped by 33 per cent.

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Violent crime levels were very low in 2022, dropping by 29 per cent from 2021 to 2022. Domestic violence incidents dropped significantly by 45 per cent. There have been no recorded homicides or kidnappings in the village for the past five years.

“To have 30 violence-related offences throughout the whole year speaks to the overwhelming safety of the community,” Sargent told the council. “That is an average of less than three calls per month regarding violence.”

Sargent added a majority of those calls came from tourists rather than village residents.

Property crime was down across most of the categories, according to the police report, the only exceptions being breaking and entering residences (three incidents, same as 2021) theft from motor vehicles (18 incidents, one more than 2021). Sargent said one of the rising crime trends was in catalytic converter thefts, adding there was a significant increase from 2021 to 2022.

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Effective Jan. 31, the province requested an exception under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which decriminalizes small amounts of controlled substances for personal use. Adults with 2.5 grams or less of certain types of illegal drugs will not be arrested or charged for possession. Production and sale of illegal drugs remains illegal.

“From our perspective, there’s not a lot of change in regards to the amount of people we arrest because they have a small amount of drugs on them,” Sargent said. “It’s simply that in the past few years, Crown wouldn’t entertain charging on a small amount of drugs.”

About 18 per cent of the calls for service came from Harrison Hot Springs in 2022; a majority of calls came from the District of Kent at 39 per cent.

Sargent said the detachment will continue to commit extra resources to the village during the busy tourist season to assist with enforcement.


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