Expect to see bolstered security in Iqaluit this summer

RCMP and QIA patrolling beach; safety issues have recently been in city’s council’s crosshairs

Staff-Sgt. Garfield Elliott stops to chat with Salomonie Arnaquq outside the Northmart during his first foot patrol rounds in the summer of 2018 in Iqaluit. The police are getting back out there this summer with patrols in various areas of the city. (File photo by Courtney Edgar)

By Nunatsiaq News

Iqaluit residents might notice more police and security hanging around parts of the city this summer, including the beach, where recent parties and shack fires have caught the attention of city council.

Both the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and RCMP have sent separate notices this week to alert the public of increased patrols.

Specifically, the QIA will monitor the Iqaluit Sinaa Inuit Land Owned Beach, which runs between the MOT Beach, along the breakwater, and to the Iqaluit Centennial Library.

People can expect to see more security around this area on Friday and Saturday evenings for the next five weeks.

“The increased presence is part of QIA’s planned ongoing work to ensure the Iqaluit Sinaa is safe and accessible to Qikiqtani Inuit and to support traditional harvesting activities,” states a release from the QIA.

Nobody from the association responded to questions from Nunatsiaq News about whether the increased presence is in response to recent calls from city council to the QIA to address safety issues on the waterfront.

Deputy mayor Janet Brewster said at a May 27 city council meeting she is concerned about fire hazards in the city’s beachfront shacks, and worried about the safety of the people who live in those shacks.

Hours after that meeting, two shacks were destroyed by fire and another two were damaged. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

The RCMP will also have a bigger presence on the city’s beach, including the QIA-owned beach, as well as Sylvia Grinnell Park, playgrounds around Iqaluit and Apex and at the airport.

The police will be hitting Iqaluit’s streets because the detachment is focusing on community safety and security, according to RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Pauline Melanson, and getting out in public is a good way to do that.

“This not only allows the general public to engage with the police officers and get to know who they are but it allows the police officers to learn more about the community they serve,” she wrote in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

This isn’t the first time Iqaluit’s RCMP have increased patrols during the summer weeks.

There was a bigger police presence in the summer of 2018, in reaction to what was described at the time as a “very difficult month for the detachment,” which included two homicides that May.

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by John K on

    This is great news. Visibility is the best way to deter crime and deterring crime is the best way to avoid negative contact between the public and the police.

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  2. Posted by Inuktituusuu on

    Last summer those beach patrols forced the public drinkers up to hospital hill. Would like to see someone break up the public drinking behind the wet shelter.

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    • Posted by Lower base on

      They need to add the area between beer and wine store to northmart on their patrol area. Saturday at 1pm there were no less then a dozen people walking around that area openly consuming beer. Most of them were already highly intoxicated.

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    • Posted by Ima on

      They will find another place to drink! Indigenous people are over police and disproportionally represented in the justice system.

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      • Posted by SJW on

        No one mentioned race in the comments. And drinking in public is against the law, no matter who you are. And last I checked their are no bars with patios here.

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      • Posted by Go home? on

        Aaasi go home and drink or bar or restaurant. Stop promoting the stereotyping by breaking the law. The few addicts make everyone look bad.

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        • Posted by Nunavutmiuta on

          Go home? LMAO, the only reason we drink outside is because we are homeless and there is no place for us to go until 8:00 pm when the low barrier shelter open, and even then there is no guarantee we will get a cot for the night with only 17 cots for both men and women available. I can honestly say all the years of abuse and mistreatment is catching up on the society now and finally starting to come out with the residential school stories being told. Judge me if you wish, don’t forget all the older White people were taught in school how we the first nations were savages and stupid and it is that very mentality that they have is stopping us from moving on as we are not privileged as they are, even with our birth rights on our home land.

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          • Posted by Scapegoat on

            Ah, this time old reason. Put the blame elsewhere. Keep teaching our children to blame all their troubles on someone else, and they will never know they can achieve more. There is no one to blame but yourself, if you want to change your situation, do it, there is absolutely no one every day who is physically forcing you to break the law by drinking in public. You are an adult, and 100% to blame for that. You made the choice to drink in public, bars are open right now.

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  3. Posted by Emily Hutchins on

    Oh goody…..now I can go to the Mart without having to worry about somebody running around outside with a butchers knife.

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    • Posted by Pay on

      Northmart should have actual trained security on their premises instead of letting their customers fend for themselves. They can certainly afford it.

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    • Posted by Aasi on

      July 13th: 8 people sitting on rocks near Tim Horton’s having a social drink of beer and smoking weed. Absolutely no police presence. I guess RCMP only go there Monday through Friday 9-5pm.

      Three groups of people drinking sitting near Baffin gas Post office pickup, blatent disregard for the fact they are drinking and loitering by sitting on the front steps of the apartment units there.

      Dozens of individuals walking from beer and wine store by Saputit place, carrying their brown bags in one hand, a Coors in the other.

      Tell me again how this is discrimination? No one cares if you buy beer, be an adult and drink it at home. Tuesday is the peak of open public drinking in the immediate vicinity of the Beer and wine store. Why are the RCMP not patrolling this area?

        • Posted by Aasi on

          So white privilege, colonization, and generational trauma are you reasons to break the law? Aaasi.

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