The Bear Clan Patrol has noticed a sudden spike this year in the amount of needles they’ve found on the streets of Winnipeg.
James Favel with The Bear Clan Patrol said in 2015, patrol members collected 18 needles between March and November. In 2016, that number spiked to 300. But this year the number has jumped to more than 3,000.
“We’re seeing negative progress. Now we’re finding 3,000 needles because meth is so cheap, it’s so easy to get a hold of, and people are just going mad for it,” Favel said.
WATCH: James Favel with The Bear Clan talks about the rise in needles being found on Winnipeg streets.
In March when the snow had melted, his patrols found 800 needles. With such a spike in numbers so far this year, he worries what the melting snow will bring after this winter.
Needles are no longer only being found in back alleys and drug houses. Favel said syringes and drug wrappers can be found outside our schools and near community developments.
“There’s just no place that’s immune,” Favel said.
He said the only way he believes the needles can get off the streets and keep children and people on the streets safe is by implementing safe injection sites in Winnipeg.
“If we had safe injection sites these needles wouldn’t be all over the community. [It’s] a hazard for someone else to come in to contact with,” Favel said.