November 23, 2014: Media Release

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The Nelson Police Department wants everyone to reach their destination safely this holiday season. With winter driving conditions upon us drivers should be aware that changing a few driving habits will keep them and others safe on our roads.

Posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. On winter roads, be aware there could be ice. Driving at reduced speeds is a great precautionary measure against slippery conditions.

Increase your distance between other vehicles as stopping distance on an icy road is double the stopping distance on a dry one.

Clear all snow and frost from your vehicle before driving so that you can see and be seen.

Ensure you have windshield washer fluid that is rated for winter use so you can keep your windshield clean and your line of vision clear.

Have extra winter wear in your vehicle, such as toques, mittens and winter boots. Keep a road safety kit and shovel in your vehicle.

Be aware of road conditions before you set out. If road conditions are unfavorable, the safest strategy is to avoid driving.

As always, keep in mind the basic safety rules: buckle up, slow down, drive with caution, be aware, be alert, be sober, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, and keep focused on the road.

Have safe and happy travels!

Telephone Scam

The Nelson Police Department is advising residents and businesses about a telephone scam that has been reported. Businesses are contacted and advised that the caller is from a local Hydro company and that their power is about to be cut off. To make sure this doesn’t happen, the caller advises that a “Pay Power Reload Pack” is required and it can be obtained from one of the grocery stores in town. The caller will instruct the person to attend the grocery store and buy one of the Pay Power Reload cards then call back at a number given to provide a serial number on the back of the card. The card is similar to a prepaid credit card.

Nelson Police want to take this opportunity to warn residents and businesses of scams, and to advise that if you receive a call similar to this, to check the validity of it by hanging up and calling the local business named to ensure there is some credence to the call, and if you are still not satisfied that it is valid, please call Nelson Police.

NPD File # 2014-5661 refers.

Janet Scott-Pryke
Sergeant
Nelson Police Department

Restorative Justice Week 2014 in Nelson

Next week, November 16-23, 2014 is Restorative Justice Week in Canada. Every year Correction Services Canada’s Restorative Justice Division proclaims this time to focus on what communities across Canada are doing to divert criminal matters from the courts and deal with them locally.

Restorative Justice is a philosophy and an approach that views crime and conflict as harm done to people and relationships. It is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, accountability of offenders and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities.

A year ago the Nelson Police Department’s Community Policing Officer-Sgt. Dino Falcone-explored ways to bring Restorative Justice to Nelson. One of Chief Wayne Holland’s priorities, upon being named head of NPD by the Nelson Police Board, is to establish a well-trained group of volunteers who could accept files from his officers for a Restorative Justice option. Over the past year a volunteer assumed the role as coordinator of this initiative.

Offenders who take responsibility for their actions meet with those who have been directly affected by a criminal act. Each of them with their supporters comes together in a conference. They hear from each other what happened, how the crime has affected each person and together explore ways to repair the harm that has been done. After deliberation with all in the circle, an agreement is reached. The Responsible Person, with the support of a volunteer mentor, works toward fulfilling obligations agreed upon to successfully complete the resolution contract. The Affected Person has had the opportunity to meet the perpetrator of the crime and state what is needed to repair the harm. The Responsible Person has the opportunity to address an initial bad decision or choice and be reintegrated within our community. Where the Criminal Justice system promotes a “win-lose” outcome with charges, pleas and court, the Restorative Justice model promotes “win-win” outcomes as all those involved decide how to repair the harm.

Presently seventeen applicants were accepted for training to become Restorative Justice facilitators and mentors. They have embarked on an intensive training schedule this fall. This group represents many segments of our society with ages ranging from twenty-somethings to seniors, with backgrounds in education, technology, trades and business who bring a passion and commitment to learning and refining appropriate skills.

During Restorative Justice Week this fledgling group will be appearing as a delegation before City Council on Monday to make a presentation on their progress and plans for future development. Also next Friday local volunteers will be staffing an information table at Chahko Mika Mall from 4:30 to 7:30pm where the public can learn more about this initiative.and what it means for our Nelson community.

The NPD Restorative Justice program will receive its files and referrals internally. The theme of Restorative Justice Week 2014 is “Inspiring Innovation”. There are significant challenges ahead as this program develops. However the volunteers’ commitment to do the work with restorative principles always at the forefront will assure the long term success and stability of this new program dedicated to serve as a viable and sound alternative to the Criminal Justice system. .

For further information contact:
Gerry Sobie
Program Coordinator
Nelson Police Department Restorative Justice Program
606 Stanley Street
Nelson, B.C. V1L 1N4
Phone: 250.354.3919 Fax: 250.354-4179
Cell: 250.777.3979
rj@nelsonpolice.ca

Media Release: New Member of the Nelson Police Department

Matthew Gregor Caldwell joins the Nelson Police Department after having served with distinction for eight years as a member of the Ottawa Police Service. He is a past resident of Nelson, having attended the Selkirk College “Ski Area Operations and Management” program in 2000. That exposure to our remarkable City established a deep connection with, as well as an appreciation for, all that this community has to offer to an individual as well as to a family.

Upon his departure, he resolved to one day re-establish his roots in the Kootenay region.

Now married, he and his wife Penny look forward to settling in Nelson and raising their two young daughters, Wendy and Taylor, in the “Queen City”. His goal is to passionately build on his past community policing success in Ottawa and to use his significant knowledge, skill and ability for the benefit of the citizens of this community.

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Photo:  Provincial Court Judge Hewson swore in Cst. Caldwell at the Nelson Law Courts on October 31, 2014. L to R:  Provincial Court Judge Hewson, Cst. Matt Caldwell, Chief Constable Wayne Holland

Vandalizing Political Signs

Vandalizing Political signs is no laughing matter and in fact is a crime that could lead to a criminal record.

Those caught vandalizing or removing election signs can face stiff fines and/or jail time. A person could be charged with mischief which carries a fine of up to $5,000 or two years in prison.

In the last week, several dozen election signs have been stolen, while others have been damaged or marred with graffiti.

With only a few weeks left before the municipal election, the Nelson Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for the culprits stealing and defacing signs, and to report them to the Nelson Police Department.

Police are following up on a tip from a resident who had witnessed some signs being stolen and called in a good vehicle description.

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Nelson Police have had several calls for bears in the City over the past weekend. Areas include the Uphill area, Rosemont and Fairview.

We are asking residents to be aware that this is the time of year for bears to be looking for food and to be diligent in keeping garbage and compost clear.

If you see a bear in your area you can call NPD and also call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 or online at www.rapp.bc.ca. They will prioritize aggressive or persistent bears.

J. Scott-Pryke
Sergeant
Nelson Police Department

Media Release: September 30, 2014

Just before midnight Sept 26 the Nelson Police received a call via 911 about a hit and run that had occurred in the Fairview area. Nelson Police members responded and located the vehicle and its driver on Front Street at Cedar St. The vehicle had stopped because of the damaged sustained in the collisions or the driver would have continued to try and leave the area.

Once in custody the driver was found to be operating the vehicle under the influence of liquor and on an expired foreign license. In total 5 parked vehicles and two roadway signs were damaged. Fortunately no one was hurt. The 23 year old male is facing charges for impaired driving, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, driving without a license, and driving without consideration for others. NPD file 2014-4821 refers.

It appears the message is not getting through to drivers in the area. Between July 1-Sept 1, 2014 15 people in Nelson have been served 90 day roadside prohibitions. This is double the number from the same time period last year.

The good news is that changes to British Columbia’s laws against driving while impaired have reduced fatal crashes as well as ambulance calls and hospital admissions resulting from motor vehicle crashes, according to a recent study.

Media Release: September 15, 2014

Sometime overnight between Sept 10 – 11 an unknown culprit broke into approximately 12 unlock cars in the Fairview area, removing valuables and change. The Nelson Police have recovered some of the stolen property and are trying to identify a suspect. People are reminded to remove all valuables from their cars at night and lock them. Every one of these thefts was preventable if these simple steps were taken.

On Fri Sept 12 The Nelson Police were called to uphill about a house party that was disturbing the neighborhood. Approximately 75 under aged kids were spilling into neighbors’ yards. Once there Nelson Police members were shown to an injured, severely intoxicated youth who required medical attention. BC Ambulance came and took care of this youth while the Nelson Police then attended to the matter of the disturbance the party goers were causing. Unfortunately for the community the youths were determined to keep partying as they moved through the neighborhood waking people up as they went.

For those that wish to host these parties there are fines under the local Bylaw for the excessive noise that start at $100 and can range up to $2000.

Charges under the Criminal Code can be submitted for Mischief by interfering with other person lawful enjoyment of their property which can carry large fines and/or jail time.

Nelson Police are still investigating and the homeowners where the party took place will be spoken to. (NPD file 2014-4583 refers)