Meth a ‘driving factor’ in Saskatoon police pursuit increase: report

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon police say meth is a "driving factor" behind police pursuits – Jun 12, 2018

A Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) report cites methamphetamine as a “driving factor” in a 30 per cent increase in police pursuits.

The report going before the Saskatoon board of police commissioners noted 208 incidents of drivers evading police in 2017, compared to 148 the year before.

READ MORE: Police seize 4,400 fentanyl pills, 21 kg of meth in one of the biggest drug busts in Saskatoon

“As reported by other agencies, the SPS believes that methamphetamine is a driving factor in the increase,” the report reads.

From 2012 through 2017, the number of evade police scenarios increased every year, according to data from the SPS.

In 2018, the Saskatchewan Police Commission directed changes to police pursuit protocol, placing greater restrictions on the types of crimes that can initiate pursuits.

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Saskatoon police expect the new rules to reduce pursuit incidents and reporting to date is trending lower, the report said.

From Jan. 1 to May 31, 2017, there were 88 reported pursuits, compared to 78 reported pursuits in the same period in 2018.

Other numbers fell from 2016 to 2017.

The number of stolen vehicles reported in Saskatoon declined by seven per cent, while the amount of vehicles stolen with keys left inside fell by 11 per cent.

Meth use in Regina has also been a driving factor in an increase in vehicles thefts, according to the report.

Statistics showed a similar situation in Prince Albert, along with an increase in weapons and drugs appearing in stolen vehicles.

Saskatoon’s police commissioners will consider the report at a public meeting Thursday.

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