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Drugs charges surge in 2015. Organized crime a problem says deputy chief.

"There is an old saying in policing - if you have cocaine in your community, you have an organized crime problem in your community."
tod, NBPSDeputyChief_Scott_Tod 2016
Deputy Chief Scott Tod.
The number of drug charges laid by North Bay police took a big leap in 2015 over the year previous.

In 2014, 131 were laid, but in 2015 the number rose to 173, an increase of over 32 per cent.

Robberies also saw a big increase going from 16 in 2014 to 22 in 2015 although there was only one robbery in December 2015 as opposed to three in 2014.

That information was contained in a statistical report to the police board meeting today. 

The number of calls for service is also up, from 23,473 in 2015 to 25,168 last year.

"I think any criminal activity is a lot of criminal activity," Deputy Chief Scott Tod told BayToday. "Certainly the numbers have decreased in some of the areas of the 12 areas that we have monitored in regards to statistics."

"Over December we were down and I think that is significant in the amount of robberies. We had 3 in 2014, 1 in 2015, during the month of December. I think that's a significant decrease in regards to robberies. It is basically a theft with violence, this could be an indication of less violence occurring in regards to robberies in the community."

Tod also referred to December's break and enter totals.

"The second one was regards to break ins and there were 14 in 2014, 8 in 2015.  We heard in the board meeting that property crime fuels the idea of drug addictions within our community; people are looking for ways to provide funding for illegal drugs in our community. But there has been in a decrease in that."

Total break-ins in 2015 were at 169 last year, down 12 from the year previous.

"However there is an increase in the overall drug charges that were laid," continued Tod. "Twelve drug charges were laid in the month of December and it was largely because of the dedicated work of the individuals involved with Street Crime Unit, and also the patrol side, of people providing information to police that we were able to execute a number of  search warrants across the city of North Bay, and in the community of Callander in December. They made some significant drug seizures which is important. On the drug side we look at the addiction side, but more importantly we look at the drug trafficking side. It is people who are profiting from selling illegal drugs in our community, and that is generally organized crime. 

"There is an old saying in policing - if you have cocaine in your community, you have an organized crime problem in your community and I still profess that to be true 25 years later. I believe that, because cocaine doesn't grow in the city of North Bay and we have cocaine seizures.

"Along with that we have had a significant increase in morphine, oxycodone, and a number of other seizures that are happening within the community. A lot of those drugs are in our community, and are available through legitimate means that are being re-purposed into illegal criminal means. Morphine and other drugs that are brought into the community by traffickers outside of North Bay service the addicts in North Bay with the drugs, and that is organized crime. It is not just the city of North Bay, but it is all the major cities in Ontario that have organized crime issues within their community and that is the work of the street crime unit - to focus on the higher level trafficking that occurs in our community and identify the individuals who cause harm to our community."

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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