News / Calgary

David Swann uses CPS fentanyl data to call for plan to deal with Alberta’s opioid crisis

Criminals admit their crimes are driven by addiction issues in many cases

David Swann used CPS data to question the provincial government on its handling of the fentanyl crisis.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

David Swann used CPS data to question the provincial government on its handling of the fentanyl crisis.

Alberta’s Liberal Party leader David Swann questioned the government Wednesday about recently obtained statistics from Calgary police relating to fentanyl.

“In 2016, CPS responded to 223 overdose calls, resulting in 111 fentanyl-related charges. These numbers have risen dramatically over the last 5 years,” said Swann. “There has also been a corresponding spike in property crime driven by addiction. If the government has all the resources it needs, why do these numbers keep going up?”

In the briefing note provided to Swann by CPS they said that in 2016 they began tracking all suspected fentanyl-related calls.

The note said that in 2016, CPS responded to 223 fentanyl-related overdose calls with victims ranging from 18 to 60 plus years old.

Police said that 76 per cent of the victims were males, 13 incidents involved multiple victims and 12 incidents involved victims with a history of overdosing.

According to police, they believe that the “vast majority” of Calgary’s prolific offender suffer from some form of addiction, and are committing crimes to support their habits.

Police said the offenders typically commit property crimes as they are less risky, but said there has been a recent spike in higher risk crimes such as bank robberies.

“When arrested, offenders have declared their addictions as the primary driver for their crimes,” said CPS.

Swan argued again Wednesday— as he has for sometime— that the opioid crisis requires cross cross-jurisdictional plan, one that would have to be provided in a state of emergency.

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