Methamphetamines have become so common in Moose Jaw that police have charged nearly four times as many people this year for possessing the drug as compared to last year, data shows.
During the recent Board of Police Commissioners meeting, Police Chief Rick Bourassa highlighted how offences for crystal meth have skyrocketed 283.3 per cent year over year. Police have arrested 23 people for having meth so far this year versus six arrests during the same time last year.
“We have known for quite some time (about this drug and) its prevalence does appearing to be increasing in the community,” he said.
In September, police made seven drug seizures and confiscated 7.5 grams of crystal meth — a “pretty significant amount,” Bourassa said — followed by 1.5 grams of cocaine and 0.3 grams of fentanyl.
Supt. Taylor Mickleborough told the board that, in his experience, anytime there is an increase in drug use and high prevalence in the community, there is also a corresponding jump in property crime.
“… many times, addicts will end up turning to property crime just so that they can feed their addictions,” he said.
The police’s statistical data back up this observation. A report for September showed there have been 1,095 incidents of crimes against property so far this year compared to 969 incidents during the same time last year. This is a jump of 13 per cent.
Most meth that police see is when they arrest people and bring them to the detention cells, Mickleborough continued. After searching the alleged offenders, officers find personal amounts of the drug.
“So for sure, we’re seeing an increase in our streets, and we’re seeing an increase coming through our interactions with folks who are involved in other crimes as well, and then they’re ending up with additional charges when we find them with the meth,” he added.
Year-to-date, drug charges for this year versus last show:
- Cocaine: 6 / 4
- Cannabis: 8 / 4
- Meth: 23 / 6
- Other CDSA drugs: 16 / 15
Meanwhile, police have responded to 12,066 calls for service so far this year compared to 11,732 during the same time last year. This is a 2.8-per-cent increase.
The next Board of Police Commissioners meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 9.