Burns Lake police to implement “red zone”

Foot patrols to enforce zero-tolerance policy

The local RCMP detachment is again implementing a “red zone” in Burns Lake village centre, where they plan to conduct frequent foot patrols and enforce a zero-tolerance policy for substance abuse-related offenses and property crimes.

A map of the red zone provided by the Burns Lake RCMP shows an area extending from Highway 16 to the shores of Burns Lake, and stretching from Third Avenue to the area east of Lakeview Mall.

Police have found the area tends to be a hot spot for crimes such as public consumption of alcohol. “There’s a lot of calls for service for alcohol-related offences, causing disturbance, mischief, that sort of thing,” said Corporal Greg Willcocks.

Foot patrols

Police plan to carry out “proactive patrols” that are set to begin on May 1. Willcocks said that it’s a way for uniformed police to integrate with the community.

“You’re going to see us again in the village core of Burns Lake, you’re going to see us at Radley Beach,” he said.

“It’s our job to make ourselves visible,” he said, adding that police would be interacting with people on the streets.

Offenses decline

Alcohol-related cases fell by 26 per cent between June 1 and August 30 last year compared to the same period in 2016, Willcocks said. Alcohol and disturbance-related offences declined by a combined 15 per cent, he said.

The village also reported that were no alcohol-related complaints or disturbances at Radley Beach, according to Willcocks.

During that time, police carried out 270 patrols — about three each day.

Addictions services

Willcocks said the primary goal is enforcement of federal and provincial laws but acknowledged that people struggling with addiction need help.

“We also realize that it is important to get people the help they need to fight addiction,” he said, adding that during last year’s pilot project, one individual ended up accessing treatment services.

“With the hard work of the community and the First Nations police officers we have here at the detachment we did get one person into treatment and it did help that person tremendously.”

Daily patrols

Willcocks said that police would be on the streets daily. “Everybody in this office is mandated to do those foot patrols,” he said.

He said that few small towns have implemented this kind of policy, and that it’s still considered a pilot project.

Red zones are sometimes associated with restrictive court orders requiring people such as convicted drug dealers to stay outside of the proscribed area, said Willcocks. But he said this isn’t planned for Burns Lake.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Constables Brodie Lamarche (left) and Nicolai Phillips of the Burns Lake RCMP during a foot patrol on May 1. (David Gordon Koch photo)

Just Posted

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Spirit North Burns Lake conducting canoe, paddle board camp for indigenous kids

Rachelle van Zanten, the Community Program Director for the Burns Lake area… Continue reading

Chinook Community Forest holds open house and BBQ in Burns Lake

Chinook Community Forest held their annual open house and BBQ at the… Continue reading

Burns Lake’s much awaited Splash Park almost ready

The Radley Beach Splash Park is 95 per cent ready. According to… Continue reading

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read