Improved mountaintop security

 | January 18, 2013

security cameraSun Peaks has enjoyed a safer 2012 with the number of break-ins dropping from the 2010 and the record 2011 levels.

The RCMP confirmed that as of December there had been only two break-ins in Sun Peaks in 2012, down from the 71 break-ins in 2011 and seven in 2010. Staff Sergeant Doug Aird said that there were a number of reasons for the reduction in break-ins, but a lot of it was community involvement.

“The people (of Sun Peaks) have taken a grasp on watching out for their neighbours . . . and a full time security company (Village Security Services) . . . has also made a great deal of difference,” says Aird.

Staff Sergeant Aird added that the RCMP had identified a number of prolific offenders, their targets and trends in any relevant activity, while working in conjunction with Village Security Services (VSS), the Sun Peaks Resort Corporation and Sun Peaks Municipal Council.

Sun Peaks Mayor, Al Raine, said that the municipality took significant measures in response to the increase in break-ins in 2011.

“We improved our co-ordination with the RCMP tremendously and we’re working a lot closer with them to ensure that we’re monitoring and trying to think ahead of thieves,” says Raine.

“Probably the most important thing we’ve done is we’ve entered into a contract (with) Village Security and there’s now security every evening as well as by-law enforcement at night. So there’s more chance that if you’re wandering around (late at night) you’re going to get noticed,” he continues.

Homeowners are also being encouraged to install security systems and enter into a contract with Village Security Services to ensure a timely local response if their alarm is triggered.

“With Village Security being located here, there’s an immediate response. (When) phoning an alarm company in Kamloops the fastest anybody can get up here is about an hour. Now there may be somebody there within minutes,” Raine says.

Established by local Dan Stebner, VSS began operations in September 2012. Stebner gave credit to a number of factors for reducing break-ins, namely Sun Peaks’ now pro-active rather than reactive system.

Stebner said his motivation for establishing the security company was driven by protecting his community.

“(I started VSS) in response to a general mood that’d been brewing in the (local community) for probably five years and we got to a breaking point with (some people’s) tolerance toward the break-ins last year,” says Stebner. “This is my community and I want it to be a safe community for our residents and our guests.”

VSS provides a number of services including alarm monitoring, as well as by-law enforcement, like parking patrols and reporting rowdy parties to the municipality.

Staff Sergeant Aird reminds residents to remain diligent around the holiday period and into January for the possibility of break-ins and theft.

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