It's not uncommon for New Brunswick to be the scene of illegal activity such as the importation of drugs, contraband tobacco and human smuggling. The province's 5,500 kilometres of coastline with many isolated sections as well as numerous small and remote airstrips are frequently targeted by criminals to gain access to the province. These areas can pose a challenge for law enforcement officials, and that's where the public can help.
"New Brunswickers know the areas where they live, work and play," says Cpl. Don Martin, RCMP Federal Operations. "For that reason, we are asking them to keep an eye out for suspicious or illegal activity. It's important to call police immediately if you see something out of the ordinary for your area. Please do not intervene though, leave that to police."
If you live along the coast, please take note of the following possible indicators of illegal activity:
– Boats operating without proper lights / markings.
– Boats of foreign registry in very remote or secluded areas.
– Vessels purposely avoiding other vessels by changing direction.
– Smaller vessels hovering in the area of a much larger vessel.
– Boats operating at odd times, not consistent with fishing schedules or other normal activities.
If you are near remote airstrips, the RCMP suggests being aware of the following:
– Aircraft landing after hours / not using proper lighting.
– Aircraft with covered windows to prevent anyone from seeing into the plane.
– Aircraft not displaying the proper registration markings or appear to have been altered ('CF' & 'CG' indicates Canadian / 'N' indicates U.S.).
– Unusually strong odours coming from the plane such as coffee, cleaners or perfume. These are often used to mask the odour from illicit cargo.
The following information can be important when contacting police about suspicious activity:
– Time, date and location of occurrence (GPS co-ordinates if available).
– Nature of activities observed.
– Descriptions of individuals, vehicles, vessels or aircraft: licence number, vessel identification number, aircraft tail number.
– Any visible markings
You can report suspicious activity by calling Coastal/Airport Watch at 1-800-665-6663 or by contacting your local RCMP detachment or police agency.