NNSL Photo/Graphic

NNSL photo/graphic

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page
Councillor pushes bootlegging crackdown
RCMP statistics presented by police boss

Stewart Burnett
Northern News Services
Monday, February 1, 2016

Iqaluit Coun. Simon Nattaq urged the RCMP to tackle bootlegging during a briefing on 2015 police statistics at city council Jan. 26.

NNSL photo/graphic

Staff-Sgt. David Combden of the Nunavut RCMP told Iqaluit council Jan. 26 that bootlegging is hard to police. - Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

"We really have to look at this issue of bootlegging like drug trafficking or drug possession," said Nattaq in Inuktitut. "We have to do something about the people who have been ongoing bootleggers for years. It's like a business for them."

He said that people know who the bootleggers are but don't want to "rat" on them because they're scared of potential repercussions.

"People know who the bootleggers are and people are scared of them," said Nattaq.

Bootlegging adds to the issue with social problems in the territory, he said. Nattaq wishes the culture could go back to its traditional beliefs when there was no alcohol.

"We have to do something about it," he said.

Staff-Sgt. David Combden of the Nunavut RCMP told Nattaq he agrees bootlegging is a big problem in the city.

"It's hard for us to police," he said, adding that one of the reasons for that was the large network involved.

Meanwhile, other police statistics show there were 11 arson incidents in 2015, compared to nine during the year before.

Deputy Mayor Romeyn Stevenson called arsons a "terrifying" aspect of Iqaluit.

"We have an unbelievable amount of fire, far more than the national average for a population this small," he said.

Coun. Gideonie Joamie asked for a seasonal breakdown in the future and suggested ramping up youth programs during certain times to combat crime.

Total calls to the RCMP were down in 2015 for the capital, but incidents of arson, drug trafficking and the numbers of prisoners held were up. } -->

Iqaluit RCMP statistics compared

Police incidents 2014 2015
Traffic accidents 85 72
Impaired operation 100 106
Territorial acts 1,000 1,061
Disturbing the peace 1,421 1,454
Firearms offences 28 23
Drug trafficking 48 58
Drug possession 47 49
Sexual offences 65 55
Uttering threats 139 121
Assaults 549 525
Mischief 1,927 2,254
Break and enter 154 85
Arson 9 11
Prisoners held 2,199 2,626
Total calls 12,942 11,815

Source: RCMP

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.