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HomeNewsDrug charges up 178% in Lindsay during the pandemic

Drug charges up 178% in Lindsay during the pandemic

KAWARTHA LAKES-Drug charges more than doubled in the Lindsay area during the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to statistics from Kawartha Lakes Police Service, from March 1,2020 to August 1,2020 there were 39 drug charges laid versus 14 for that same time period in 2019. That’s a 178% increase.

Police Chief Mark Mitchell says the pandemic has a lot to do with that.

“In some cases the pandemic has increased funding such as the CERB which has lead to an increase in substance abuse, as well as some other factors.” Mitchell said. “Early in the pandemic (March-May) our overdose numbers were lower than they were a year ago (we did have a spike in cases in the Spring of 2019 though). It has been over the summer, that we have seen a significant rise in the number of overdoses. I can’t draw a direct link between our overdose numbers and the effects of the pandemic on mental health other than to say that substance abuse issues and mental health problems are often closely related. Our mental health calls have remained fairly consistent through the pandemic.”

At the same time police say motor vehicle collisions were cut in half due to fewer cars being on the roads during the pandemic. Police also suspended traffic enforcement charges such as outdated licence plate stickers etc. leading to a decrease in traffic enforcement charges as well.

According to the stats, assault charges were also down dramatically during the pandemic. From March 1 to August 1,2020 police laid 151 assault charges. In 2019 that number was 250. Many of the assaults police investigate are at the Central East Correctional Centre. Mitchell says much of the decrease is because the number of inmates at the jail was reduced. The Ministry released hundreds of inmates from the jail citing concerns around the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a surprising finding the number of reported domestic assaults went down during the pandemic. In 2019 there were 265 investigations and in 2020 that number went down to 244.

“It’s down a bit but we may get some more reports after the pandemic.” Mitchell says.

The police service is taking part in a study being done at Lakehead University on the effects of the pandemic on policing.

Lakehead University will partner with Ontario-based police services to document effects of the pandemic on policing in the province. Specifically, the project will study its effects on police directives, calls for service, and officer wellness.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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