Yukon RCMP chief superintendent Peter Clark is packing up and heading east. Clark is stepping down after six years as Yukon's top cop, to assume command in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This will be my thirteenth move," Clark said. "It's time to go, the opportunities are there."

Clark arrived in Yukon in 2010, when relations between Yukon communities and RCMP were strained. An inquest into the death of Raymond Silverfox, a First Nations man who died of pneumonia after spending 13 hours in police cells in Whitehorse, was particularly damning to the force.

A subsequent report, "Sharing Common Ground," made 33 recommendations for changes to policing in the territory.

Clark believes things have improved during his tenure. 

"It's kind of been a guiding strategy of mine to rebuild some important things inside the RCMP, around our safety programs, and certainly with the relationship with the communities too."

More crimes reported

Clark's departure comes as police in the territory deal with a spike in violent crime, something the chief superintendent has linked to a growing drug trade and described as "deeply disturbing."

But Clark said Yukon is not much different from other parts of Canada. 

"There's just an overall trend in many things going up — the cybercrime, the online offences of bullying and pornography and things like that," he said.

"No doubt, there is an increase in reporting crime, but I think that reporting might largely be due to the community's lack of tolerance around bad things happening."

Clark also argued that more reported crime shows people have "greater trust and confidence in their police service."