Regina seeing increase in crime against people and property, overdoses

The Regina Police Service spoke about the increase of social challenges and crime against people in February during Tuesday morning’s board of police commissioners meeting.

Total crimes against people in Regina jumped by over 32 per cent in February 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, and crimes against property are up by almost 18 per cent.

Regina Chief of Police Evan Bray is still blaming the pandemic.

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“We saw alcohol and drug abuse go up, substance use disorders, mental health challenges came to the forefront for a lot of people because of the social pressure the pandemic put on people,” Bray said.

“Worldwide, we don’t know the longer-term effects that the pandemic had on things like crime rate.”

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He noted that the number of vacant properties left by the pandemic have given way to fires being started.

Bray said that some of the most common crimes involve individuals stealing from cars.

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“Theft from auto is considered a petty crime, but it sadly plagues… I’m sure we could take a show of hands of people in this room, of people who have had something stolen from their car,” Bray said.

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Thefts over the amount of $5,000, mischief and willful damage are also on the rise.

“If we know there are certain steps we can take as individuals in our community to make us less likely to be a target then we want to try and provide you with that information to help you with it,” Bray added.

Overdose deaths hit 14 in February this year, up six from February 2022.

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“Overdoses are already a problem in our community,” said Bray. “One overdose is too many.”

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He noted that police are aware of the ties that substance abuse in the city has to the occurrence rates of other types of crime.

“We know that that has proportionate links to victimization, vulnerability, crime rates, and all of those types of things,” Bray said.

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