Calgary may have experienced a spike in crime near its supervised drug consumption site, but in Red Deer, the crime rate is trending downward.
Red Deer RCMP confirm there is no increase in crime near the temporary overdose prevention site at 5246 53rd Ave.
Recent media reports in Calgary confirm an increase in crime near the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre, where that city’s supervised drug consumption site is located. A recent Global News report states there’s a 276 per cent increase in drug-related calls in the area.
Red Deer has the opposite trend, including downtown, near the temporary overdose prevention site that started in October and is operated by Turning Point.
Red Deer RCMP Const. Derek Turner said the crime rate in the city in the last quarter of 2018 is lower than in 2017. The detachment will release 2018’s third quarter statistics Thursday.
Turner does not deny the homeless population is visible in the area near the overdose prevention site and warming shelter. That may lead to the belief that crime is high in that neighbourhood, he said.
“There’s always a perception of things happening around that clientele… but people need to be aware we’ve put things in place to reduce crime.”
He points to the RCMP’s pinpoint strategy and downtown policing unit that started around November. The more-than-two-year-old pinpoint strategy targets crime hot spots around the city.
Red Deer council has given final approval to the permanent supervised drug consumption site at 5233 54th Ave., around the corner from the temporary site.
Turning Point plans to relocate all its services to the location.
The development permit for the site is subject to a seven-year sunset clause. This means the permit expires in 2025, when its operators will have to come before council again for a new permit.