Saskatoon’s police chief says rising meth addictions is leading to an increase in property crime.
Chief Clive Weighill made the comments in a year-end interview with 650 CKOM on Dec. 20.
“The biggest challenge for the force right now, and going into 2017, is methamphetamine,” he said. “They’re addicted, and they’re turning to crime to feed their habit.”
He said the drug has “worked its way into the fabric” of Saskatoon life, mostly affecting residents in their 30’s.
As a result, Weighill said there’s been a “huge” increase in break and enters and vehicle thefts.
He said moving into the new year, it’s important for people to report crime, even if it’s a minor property theft.
“I know a lot of people think ‘I’ve only had something stolen from my truck, it’s not worth reporting,'” he said. “But if we don’t know that it’s happened we can’t plot where the crime is happening, where the hotspots are.”
He said while the police may not appear to do much about the file, the information goes to their planning and research department. The mapping data then helps police direct their resources to areas where higher numbers of crimes are occurring.
Holiday service means roadside checks
Speaking on police service during the holiday season, Weighill said not much changes for officers.
“Holidays don’t mean much to the police service unfortunately,” he said. “We keep our staffing up to levels that are required.”
In addition, Weighill said more resources would be brought in to conduct roadside checks for impaired drivers.
He noted with Saskatchewan once again having the highest drinking and driving rate, Saskatonians need to be making smart choices for their holiday festivities.
“We want people safe,” he said. “We want people to have a good time, but please don’t drink and drive.”
He listed taking the cab, or taking advantage of the free New Year’s Eve transit service as alternative modes of transportation.
– With files from Bryn Levy