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MLA shocked by RCMP report

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Mar 16/05) - Nanulik MLA Patterk Netser is calling for more officers in Coral Harbour and Chesterfield Inlet after seeing the latest RCMP figures.

"The RCMP's report makes for some disturbing reading," said Netser in the house recently. "When this territory registers a total of 11,000 or so criminal code offenses in one year alone it's hard to say that we are doing well."

In Chesterfield and Coral, Netser added, there is a serious need for more police officers.

"In Coral, there is only one officer for every 411 residents," he said of the community of 822 people. "We need to do everything we can to work with the RCMP to secure adequate resources."

Chesterfield Inlet has two officers serving 353 residents. According to the police report officers dealt with 97 files there in 2003.

Cpl. Alex Lyon at the Coral Harbour detachment would not say whether or not his detachment needs more officers.

"We're working hard with what we have," he said.

He added that the most pervasive crimes in Coral Harbour in the run of a year are break and enters and property damage.

In 2004, Coral Harbour's file count increased to 332 files, Lyon said, up from the 281 files they dealt with in 2003.

The RCMP recorded more than 2,400 assaults including sexual assault, more than 1,000 liquor offenses, more than 1,000 break and enters, and an overall grim picture with more than 11,000 criminal code offenses in 2003.