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Inuvik bootleggers going unreported: RCMP

A haul of booze intercepted by Fort McPherson RCMP in November of 2020. Acting Inuvik RCMP district commander Mark Bishop says since he took over the detachment has not received one single complaint about bootlegging.

Inuvik RCMP have not laid any charges related to bootlegging largely because there are no reports of it.

That's the explanation given by acting district commander Sgt. Mark Bishop, who was asked about the lack of bootlegging charges by Coun. Clarence Wood during Town Council's Feb. 8 Committee of the Whole meeting.

"In 23 years on council, I've only seen two charges for bootlegging," said Wood. "I fail to believe that there are no bootleggers in this town.

"Is it low on the priority list or what?"

No reports coming in

Bishop said the reason the RCMP wasn't investigating reports of bootleggers in the community or laying charges was very simple – it wasn't getting them.

He added that in his last posting as district commander of the Fort McPherson RCMP, the department fielded many calls related to illegal alcohol sales, so he said he was curious what was happening as well.

"I noticed that myself, being only here a couple months, the bootlegging numbers are always zero," said Bishop. "One thing I have notice since I've been here is that we actually don't receive any reports of bootlegging.

"In my previous post in Fort McPherson we actually received complaints and tips, whether anonymous or not, that we would be able to follow up on. But there hasn't been any since I've been here in the past three months. "

Wood noted the RCMP dealt with 82 cases of mischief — including public intoxication — and noted with one liquor store in town with limited hours it was likely people were finding other sources of alcohol.

He asked if the RCMP would be able to follow up on people picked up for public intoxication to determine where they're getting their booze from.

Bishop noted he was aware of several individuals who are currently banned from the liquor store who are seemingly still accessing liquor and said he would follow up.

"Obviously they're getting it from somewhere," said Bishop. "I'll do my own research to see if anyone has even been charge of bootlegging in the past few years here, because I would be interested to know that, and if not, why not.

"I don't know if the focus has been other issues, more pressing issues whether it's drugs, or if it's simply we haven't had the reports. Either way, I'll look into it."

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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