August 17, 2018 3:22 pm
Updated: August 17, 2018 4:27 pm

Rise in violent gun crime connected to rise in meth use, say Winnipeg police

WATCH: Winnipeg police Const. Rob Carver says violent crime associated with meth means officers are less available for other calls, including property crime.

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In the past two weeks, police responded to more than one firearms related incident a day — and the Winnipeg Police Service blames the rise in meth use with the rise in violent gun crime.

“It’s concerning for the public and the city at large, we’ve got people out with firearms,” said Const. Rob Carver.

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“This city is facing a lot of crime fueled by drugs and methamphetamine, those drugs and the meth lead to people bringing guns, and a level of violence we haven’t seen, and that the draw on police resources is enormous.”

In a 24-hour-period between Aug. 14 and 15, officers responded to five separate incidents involving firearms. Although the crimes were separate, it’s believed drugs were involved in some way for all of them, said Carver.

READ MORE: Gun calls a growing problem in the city: Winnipeg police

“This is what we’re facing on a daily basis. I think the point here is not the individual incidents, but kind of an overview of what is happening in the city, mostly fueled by methamphetamine, and then leading to violence, and in these cases firearms incidents.”

“Not every firearm we see is a real firearm, some are replica, but our officers don’t know that, which means we’re going into a situation where there is a probability that firearms are going to get used, possibly by our own officers.”

Compared to five years ago, Carver said there’s been a huge increase in the presence of meth in the city, and policing it is tying up officers across the city.

READ MORE: Manitoba has highest homicide rate in Canada; violent crime up in both Winnipeg and Manitoba

“I go through a summary every day when I come in over a 24-hour-period. Meth is just littered over what I read, whether it’s somebody that’s on meth confronting our officers and presenting a threat to people, or people who are on meth addicted and are committing crimes to fuel that.”

Carver said the police service will be releasing details on a comprehensive strategy to help tackle the meth and drug problem in the city in the near future.

WATCH: Winnipeg’s police chief spoke out about meth crisis in July

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