Letter: Policing needs review

Letter: Policing needs review

A Keremeos RCMP officer saved a moose that was caught in a barb wire fence recently. (File photo)

There have been many comments about a lack of police presence and I have expressed my concern that senior officers in Ottawa may be making policy decisions that affect B.C. communities.

My solution? Regional police.

Having stated that, I recall talking several months ago to Oliver’s chief financial officer who assured me that there would be a financial review of policing options. Since I have read nothing regarding this review I must assume my question fell on deaf ears.

On an almost daily basis as we drive and walk about, my wife and I note there is an almost complete lack of police monitoring driving behaviour. I noticed Ron Johnson (Speed Watch) several months ago recording drivers’ failure to come to a complete stop at the four-way stop sign at Fairview and Similkameen.

Apparently the infractions at this intersection do not merit consistent police attention. Combine this with the increasing number of drivers who barely stop at other “stop” signs and we have an appalling lack of respect for road rules.

Using crosswalks in this town is an increasing risk for most pedestrians because many drivers race up to the stop sign and often ignore a person preparing to cross the road.

Interestingly enough I have noticed the police monitoring speed on the double lane sections of Highway 97. This often requires three police officers but I rarely see a police presence in town.

I understand that speed kills but so does blowing stop signs and I am convinced that the almost total lack of policing in Oliver has created a serious “scofflaw” attitude amongst drivers.

Ottawa cannot deliver the two officers as promised so we must suffer Ottawa’s inability to provide the service we pay for.

I believe our MLA Linda Larson is investigating a regional police force. Excellent idea. I know that her office monitors public opinions and other matters regarding constituents, so if you are really concerned about traffic and your safety it would be worthwhile asking our MLA what benefits would accrue if we said “goodbye” to Ottawa and follow the lead of some Lower Mainland communities.

Pat Hampson, Oliver


  1. I had similar concerns years ago when I first moved into town. I, prematurely, spoke my mind, and was soon corrected. Traffic enforcement, with occasional in – town phone traps by our detachment, is the responsibility of the traffic services out of Keremeos. I can’t imagine the logic behind this, but here we are. That’s why you see speed traps north of Gallagher Lake, but they’re not our guys. I’d suggest contacting our MLA to get some background on this. As far as additional constables, where are they going to come from? The RCMP has had recruiting difficulties for years now. And compared to cities with murderous crime problems, where do you think we sit on the list for future hires? I sure hear/read lots of comments on how the situation is, but very little in the way of helpful suggestions. Kind of like complaining about the weather. Maybe get Crimestoppers to do a bit of door-to-door like a few years ago. There are around 10,000 people living south of Gallagher Lake, you’d think there’s be something from someone. Any ideas?