Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jul 2016
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Page: 10
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Jeremy Simes


The spike in Calgary's crime severity index (CSI) can largely be 
linked to the increase in the city's drug activity and economic 
slump, according to Calgary police Chief Roger Chaffin, as fentanyl 
and other opioid use remains high across the province.

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada released a report that showed 
Calgary's CSI index jumped by 29 per cent, the largest increase in 
Canada's metropolitan areas. The CSI measures the volume and severity 
of police-reported crime.

According to Calgary police, there was a spike in methamphetamine, 
heroin and opiate drugseizures.

Chief Chaffin said the rise in crime isn't good news for Calgarians, 
adding the force has been focusing its efforts to handle such issues.

"Yes, you're always concerned with any rise in crime," he said. "It's 
got economic ties to it, but as a community we're working to find solutions."

Alberta as a whole saw an increase in its CSI by 18 per cent, 
according to Statistics Canada.

Across the province, the data reporting agency said the higher crime 
rates were a result of more incidents of breaking and entering, theft 
of $5,000 or less and motor vehicle theft.

Chaffin said crimes, like car thefts, affect public confidence.

"These are the things that affect us everyday. It affects us, it 
affects our neighbours, it's the sort of things that deteriorate your 
confidence in community life," he said. "So as a service we've 
reorganized ourselves, we've put new strategies in focus to these crimes."

He said he believes the solutions are education and prevention.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom