Roving police patrols through evacuated wildfire zones are helping deter crime, say B.C. RCMP.
On Tuesday afternoon, provincial officials held a 2 p.m. press conference regarding ongoing wildfires burning throughout B.C.
During the press conference, B.C. RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts discussed ongoing police patrols, including one that resulted in the seizure of break-in tools.
“We’re closely monitoring the changes in wildfire conditions, as well as changes to evacuation alerts and orders,” said Roberts. “This allows us to move our police resources out of areas that are no longer subject to orders and into areas that are still dealing with challenges.”
Robert said in the last 53 days, RCMP have deployed more than 650 personnel from around B.C., to either support operations or to areas impacted by wildfires to help their policing colleagues.
The additional resources are currently in Merritt, Kamloops, Oliver and Vernon, with personnel being shifted from one area to another as needed.
“The additional resources have been heavily focused lately on doing roving patrols, primarily in unmarked vehicles,” said Roberts, noting “those patrols are proving quite successful.”
She said in one case, but did not say where, officers “checked a vehicle, with passengers, that was not to be in the area, and actually weren’t even from the area.”
Roberts continued, saying “a subsequent search did locate break-in tools.”
In another case, Roberts said one check revealed that one individual was arrested for being in breach of court conditions related to an arson investigation.
“These patrols are working,” said Roberts, “and they’re having an effect in preventing crimes.”
Roberts also said there have been no reports of break and enters or thefts in the areas that have been subject to evacuation.