saskatoon police

Published Monday, June 11, 2018 8:52PM CST

Last Updated Monday, June 11, 2018 10:39PM CST

The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) says methamphetamine use is a driving factor of a dramatic increase in police pursuits.

A report from the SPS shows the number of reported incidents involving evading police rose from 148 in 2016, to 208 last year, a 30 per cent increase. It shows that last year, 93 arrests were made during incidents involving evading police, compared to 79 the year before.

Officers involved are required to report police pursuits to their supervising sergeant. The incident is then reviewed by the Evade Police Review Committee, which consists of three staff sergeants and the inspector in charge of the Investigative Services Division.

The report says in 2016, there was a discrepancy between the number of police pursuits reported to the Evade Police Review Committee, and the tally of incidents coded that way in the police service’s records system. It says the police service has taken steps to ensure reports are properly submitted.

The report notes in 2017, there was a 7 per cent decrease in the number of stolen vehicles reported and an 11 per cent decrease in vehicle thefts with the keys still in the vehicle.

The SPS is taking steps to reduce the number of police pursuits, according to the report. It says pursuit policy training and reminders were issued last year. And in 2018, the Provincial Police Commission placed more stringent restrictions on the type of offences where police pursuits can be initiated.

The report says theft reduction initiative is helping reduce vehicle thefts, and the SPS has issued media releases reminding people to lock their vehicles, and not to leave the keys inside.

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