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Rankin Inlet RCMP to focus on criminal situations, not annoying neighbours

Rankin Inlet RCMP to focus on criminal situations, not annoying neighbours
Cst. Zac Roy said police will be less inclined to take people who won’t go to sleep or are “being annoying” to the drunk tank going forward. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

No more drunk tank calls

The Rankin Inlet RCMP are putting a damper on residents calling the cops on drunk friends and relatives who are “just being annoying,” according to Cst. Zac Roy.

“We do push back a little bit now, saying we’re not just going to take this person to the jail or to the drunk tank just because he’s being annoying to you.”

He spoke at hamlet council Monday, Feb. 14, and said the detachment plans to steer away from the practice.

If the person just won’t go to sleep, he said, the cops won’t take them to the drunk tank anymore. He suggests coming up with a more viable solution when the person is sober.

Calls down, sexual assaults up

Call volume to the RCMP in the first month of 2022 was lower than usual, at least partially due to the amount of blizzards.

However, calls started to increase toward the end of the month, ending with 128 total calls, which resulted in eight criminal investigations in which charges were laid, 49 calls where alcohol was a factor and 18 prisoners lodged.

Roy noted that there was a higher number than usual of sexual assault complaints, which the detachment hopes to solve.

He said they were of both a present and historic nature.

“That’s the bad news that these things are happening, but the good news is that they’re being reported,” he said.

One cop gone, one coming

Cst. Kyle Amsel has decided to resign from the RCMP, said Roy, who added that Amsel would be staying in the community and working with CIRNAC.

Cst. Matthew Hope will be travelling to the hamlet with his family in the next couple of months.

Aiming to increase community engagement

Coun. Daniel Kowmuk asked Roy if the detachment would increase its community engagement.

Roy said yes and that it was part of their annual priorities, but that Covid restrictions have put a damper on things.

“We are falling behind on those numbers,” he said, adding that it’s a priority.

“It makes a lot of difference with the community,” said Kowmuk.

Coun. Michael Shouldice asked Roy if the RCMP were planning any new strategies on their approach as society moves past Covid.

Roy answered affirmatively, but said those discussions are happening at the Iqaluit level.

Marijuana isn’t the problem

Roy said marijuana isn’t much of a problem, but when asked about substance use, said there were some people who use whatever they can get their hands on.

“I haven’t seen or received a complaint of someone being on hard drugs yet,” he said.

He agreed with a suggestion that it was more along the lines of gas, propane or other inhalants.

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