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Drug bust, proactive efforts highlight Regina Police activities

Latest stats show crimes against person up but property crime down in January; police also seize massive amount of fentanyl in February
Regina Police Chief Farooq H. Sheikh was particularly impressed by the proactive efforts of his police department early in 2024.

REGINA - There were a lot of positives to report regarding the latest statistical report for Regina Police Service.

The January numbers for Regina Police Services were presented by Regina Police Chief Farooq Sheikh to the Board of Regina Police Commissioners on Tuesday and saw some declines in a number of areas: 

Crimes Against Property saw a decrease of 230 reported incidents over 2023, down from 907 to 677, for an overall year-to-date decrease of 25.4 percent. These include a decrease of 171 incidents of Theft Under $5,000 for a 38.1 percent decline, however there were also 16 more Mischief / Wilful Damage incidents for an 11.7 percent increase.

Thefts of Auto have been a big concern in other provinces, particularly in Ontario where rates have skyrocketed. But in Regina, incidents have decreased in January from 74 to 39, for a 33.8 percent increase.

On the flip side, the total Crimes Against the Person are up from 237 to 260, a 9.7 percent increase. On a more positive note, there were no homicides during the month of January, and the outstanding investigation into a homicide from the previous Dec. 21 has resulted in an arrest and a 16-year-old charged.

When combining the total crimes against both Person or Property, there was a drop from 1144 to 937 for a 18.1 percent drop.

Total Calls for Service in January were 5,743 for a year-to-date decrease of 10.4 percent. Alarm Calls for Service saw a year-to-date increase from 144 to 175 of 21.5 percent.

“What I was reassured was some of the crime is coming down,” said Police Chief Sheikh to reporters about the crime stats. 

He was particularly impressed with the reduction seen in both auto crimes and also break and enters. Sheikh also made the point that beyond the crime stats was a number of proactive measures being taken by Regina Police Service over the past couple of months to reduce crime. 

“They’re responding quickly to calls for service, they’re able to coordinate the search with support of air support… and the fact that a lot of proactive work is going on looking at ways to tackle crime.”

He made the point he was looking at having an organization “that is extremely proactive, not reactive, but when we do have calls for service that we get there in a timely fashion…but an organization that works collaboratively together.”

Sheikh also pointed to the police promoting the things they had been doing to reduce crime, to “reassure the public and gain their confidence that the police are doing everything we can, and we’re trying to improve as well.”

Nine kilograms of fentanyl seized in major drug bust 

One major issue Regina police continue to face in the community is the impact of drugs. They reported 31 overdoses in January including 17 deaths.

But there has also been progress reported by police to get drugs off the streets. Sheikh was asked about a major drug bust by Regina Police a couple of weeks ago, in which a massive quantity of illegal drugs and fentanyl was seized.

According to their news release, on Feb. 16, members of the Regina Police Service Drug Unit along with Tactical Support Officers executed a CDSA search warrant in the 1900 block of Saskatchewan Dr. 

The search warrant execution had resulted in seizure of nine grams of a fentanyl, as well as seizure of carfentanil, cocaine, methamphetamine, cash and a loaded 9mm carbine rifle. Two adult males and an adult female were arrested and are charged with numerous  firearms and possession-for-purpose-of-trafficking charges.

The nine kilograms of fentanyl is considered a significant amount, as even extremely small quantities of fentanyl are lethal, and is one of the largest amounts of fentanyl ever seized by Regina Police Service, according to their statement. 

“There was a substantial amount of drugs recovered,” Sheikh said. “It’s obviously in the city, so there’s no doubt it’s destined for within. And I can’t say where or who, but I was really impressed with the work that our staff’s done, our drugs unit, our other departments coming together, because that would have hit the hands of a lot of communities, a lot of people, and potentially could have ended up resulting in a lot more overdoses as well.”

Sheikh pointed to the continued efforts by Regina police to crack down on drugs, expressing confidence that “with the seizures they’ve had in the last couple of months it will positively impact on the safety for our communities.”