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Saskatoon sees rise in street violence: police

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon police say an uptick in crime in the summer months is normal, but what they’re seeing recently is anything but – Aug 2, 2018

The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) said an uptick in crime in the summer months is normal, but recent weapons offences and violent crime has noticeably increased in the city.

“This is almost a new normal that we’ve seen in the last three months, in terms of the severity and the degree of violence out in the street,” SPS Supt. Brian Shalovelo said.

READ MORE: Saskatoon police investigating assault with hammer and knife

Earlier this week, police responded to an early morning assault where a knife and hammer were used.

Another involved the executive director of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra stabbed in the face with the blunt end of a fork at his office on 20th Street. In this case, police believe the man was on drugs which is one of the main drivers of the recent spike.

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“It’s well known about the meth situation in Saskatoon and the effects. You put all that together and it’s different circumstances out on the street today,” Shalovelo said.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra executive director recovering after stabbed in the face

Police are concerned for the public, but also the impact these cases have on officers.

Shalovelo said SPS is taking a look at staffing and response levels, while making mental health supports available.

“If we see that an officer is struggling, or an officer needs some help, or they’ve been to a number of high-profile incidents … we really have to watch our officers to ensure they’re functioning at 100 per cent,” he said.

Shalovelo added while the increase has been trying, police have actively been making arrests and apprehending suspects in these violent cases.

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