Greater Victoria police CounterAttack roadchecks are on once again during the Christmas season.

Expect fewer Christmas CounterAttack roadblocks

More resources and money pushed to summer enforcement programs in Greater Victoria

A cut in funding will reduce CounterAttack roadblocks this holiday season, but Greater Victoria police say that won’t stop them from cracking down on drinking and driving.

An increased police presence on the roads is starting mid-December, but for many departments the number of extra, overtime roadblocks deployed will be less than in past years.

Saanich Police Department’s overtime roadblocks have been reduced from the usual nine to three. Victoria police is receiving $15,000 to fund extra roadblocks this winter, versus $45,000 in 2012. West Shore RCMP does not get extra funding for CounterAttack.

“It’s been reduced from our numbers over previous years, however we are still actively involved in the program,” said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie.

ICBC supports the CounterAttack program through a funding agreement with B.C.’s Ministry of Justice.

An ICBC spokesperson said the agency is investing about $23.7 million in “enhanced enforcement” in B.C. in 2013, including CounterAttack, speed enforcement and seat belt checks. This amount is consistent with prior years, but the money is distributed by the ministry.

Reduced funding for the winter CounterAttack is due to an increased focus on the summer CounterAttack program and an overall new approach to the distribution of funds. Winter CounterAttack is running about half the length of time it did last year, resulting in decreased funding and fewer roadblocks.

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton, in a statement, said the government has, as in past years, contributed more than $1 million of overtime funding to police for impaired driving enforcement in 2013.

“Police agencies set enforcement priorities and remain dedicated to B.C.’s tough approach to drinking and driving,” Anton’s statement reads. “Overall, enforcement continues to help contribute to the lowest levels of alcohol-related traffic fatalities on record in B.C.”

A total of 11 independent police forces are sharing $150,000 for winter CounterAttack overtime pay.

Even with the reduced presence, Eassie said officers will still be out keeping the roads safe.

“These are three (roadblocks) above and beyond our regular strength,” Eassie said. “Our officers will still be out and about for our regular patrols seven days a week, 24 hours a day and those roadblocks can pop up at any time.”

“We can only hope that our citizens are making the right choices.”

During December, an average of five people are killed in B.C. in crashes involving impaired driving.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

People-less protest in Victoria holds space for victims of police brutality, systematic racism

People are asked to come learn the names of the lives lost to the hands of racism

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Most Read