Pubdate: Thu, 18 Feb 2016
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 North Bay Nugget
Author: PJ Wilson
Page: A1


Drug, property seizures surge in 2015

The street crime unit of North Bay police seized more than $500,000
worth of drugs and almost $750,000 worth of property in 2015 - almost
three times the totals of the previous year.

In a report to the police services board Wednesday, Deputy Chief Scott
Tod said the four-member unit saw a marked increase in the number of
investigations, the majority self-generated and directed by the unit.

Tod said he expects there will be a similar increase in both
investigations and seizures this year.

Tod said property crime "will continue to be an issue" in the area
over the coming years, particularly because of an increase in crack
cocaine and illegal prescription medications such as fentanyl,
morphine and other opiates.

This, he said, will affect both businesses and individuals, with drug
addicts committing a variety of property crimes at residences,
businesses and vehicles to get money or property to sell or trade for

In 2015, Tod said, the street crime unit "was frequently receiving
information concerning persons from outside our jurisdiction who
continuously frequented North Bay to distribute drugs.

"It is anticipated this trend will continue as North Bay continues to
be viewed, in the drug subculture, as a lucrative market."

Part, he said later, is due to the city's location at the crossroad of
highways 11 and 17.

"North Bay has always been a crossroads for the transportation of a
large amount of drugs," he said, although the city itself "has the
same drug problems as any other city."

And while the federal Liberal government has promised to legalize the
use and possession of marijuana, Tod said, organized crime is still
profiting from the sale of all drugs, including marijuana.

Possession, he said, is still illegal, which "puts us in a bit of a
conundrum, and that makes it difficult for officers on the front line.

"But our job is to enforce the laws. We don't make the laws. But that
being said, we still have the ability to use discretion."

Tod said North Bay police carried out 470 investigations in 2015- up
from 356 in 2014. There were 175 drug charges laid last year, an
increase of 67 from the previous year.

Altogether, $504,927 worth of drugs were seized, up from $205,445 in

Police also seized $245,215 worth of property, up from $33,840.
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