Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Carl Vinet has snowmobiles on his wish list this season, with the hope of providing backcountry enforcement when and where it’s needed.
The sergeant says police access to sleds and ATVs is becoming increasingly important with the winter season bringing more and more backcountry enthusiasts to Owl Head and Queest Mountain, popular snowmobiling sites.
“They bring in a lot of people, there’s more people in the community, therefore, if we had sleds, we would could do some kind of enforcement or education-type component on these sleds,” Vinet explained in a presentation Wednesday to the new Sicamous council.
He noted they would be used to enhance the detachment’s seasonal policing effort, adding that in the meantime, Sicamous can usually access the backcountry with help from the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club and Shuswap Search and Rescue, which has four sleds available.
Vinet says he has to present a case for funding of the sleds to his superiors, and that he hopes to see something next year or the year after.
Transient crime has also been a significant challenge for police. Vinet brought up the two recent attempted thefts of ATMs as examples.
“These are not local people,” said Vinet.
“Vehicles are stolen in Kelowna or Kamloops and they come here and try to do their crimes. It’s the same with break and enters. When we have rashes of break and enters, it usually relates to transient crime.”
Vinet said the rash of snowmobile and ATV thefts were also examples of transient crime.
In that case, however, Sicamous police were able to identify a local safe house for those involved.
“When we were able to establish that and deal with that component, the theft of ATVs and sleds dropped dramatically,” said Vinet.
“We are talking 12 to 15 in the winter, compared to three or four last year.”