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Downtown Crime

CplKlinger

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One problem area right now is transit, partly due to the repealing of the Transit Loitering Bylaw by Councillor Paquette last term.
I think it's a bit inaccurate to say that the bylaw was repealed; it wasn't. What was removed was the fine, because it was found that it's not really a deterrent for people who can't afford to pay them anyway. So instead of just fining them and perhaps kicking them out to go loiter somewhere else (which is not nearly ideal in winter), now peace officers and social workers will work in integrated teams to remove these people from transit centres/stations/etc. and direct them to services that can help them to break the cycle they're in. So rather than allowing loitering (which again, it isn't), the change is just making a shift to an approach which is hopefully more reasonable and realistic, humane, and effective than just dropping fine after fine that'll never get paid or help these people access better alternatives.
 

Greenspace

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^EPS is telling Downtown stakeholders specifically that they can no longer respond to concerns/loitering at transit stations due to this change, so perhaps I misunderstand who has jurisdiction over what, and I haven't seen much effort from security. Agreed, ticketing folks who can't afford it isn't useful..

The issue is lack of day shelters/wet shelters in Edmonton (similar to what Calgary has), or housing, or whatever wrap-around services is currently missing or reduced capacity due to COVID. However in the meantime if we want to encourage folks to come back Downtown to the office, many of whom need to take transit, are women, are telling us they don't feel save using many of the entrances of the stations that are currently taken over with drug dealing and drug-involved street folks, loitering and drug use in those spaces needs to be discouraged.
 
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jason403

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^EPS is telling Downtown stakeholders specifically that they can no longer respond to concerns/loitering at transit stations due to this change, so perhaps I misunderstand who has jurisdiction over what, and I haven't seen much effort from security. Agreed, ticketing folks who can't afford it isn't useful..

The issue is lack of day shelters/wet shelters in Edmonton (similar to what Calgary has), or housing, or whatever wrap-around services is currently missing or reduced capacity due to COVID. However in the meantime if we want to encourage folks to come back Downtown to the office, many of whom need to take transit, are women, are telling us they don't feel save using many of the entrances of the stations that are currently taken over with drug dealing and drug-involved street folks, loitering and drug use in those spaces needs to be discouraged.
I think drug use needs to be criminalized/enforced (as it used to be). I don't know if sending drug users to jail is the answer, but possibly sending them to be incarcerated in rehabilitation facilities. It's just not fair to the rest in a law abiding society to keep having to deal with those who cause such trouble and eat up so many resources due to their addictions.
 

God

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I think drug use needs to be criminalized/enforced (as it used to be). I don't know if sending drug users to jail is the answer, but possibly sending them to be incarcerated in rehabilitation facilities. It's just not fair to the rest in a law abiding society to keep having to deal with those who cause such trouble and eat up so many resources due to their addictions.
I agree. At some point you have to realize that this person isn’t really able to make logical decisions for the well being of themselves and you have to step in. Otherwise the result is someone like me who just drives through downtown every weekend just to get to whyte ave and party, end up seeing and witnessing an average of about 3 overdoses on my way through Chinatown,104 Ave and Jasper Ave. Not a great look for the city, but also more importantly those people really needs serious help. I have paramedic friends who’ve told me after reviving someone on the street they’ve been yelled at for “ruining their high”. These people obviously have serious issues/trauma they need to deal with and I just can’t see how their “freedom” roaming the streets popping needles is the answer to their help. We as a city need to do better in helping these people.
 

ChazYEG

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Criminalizing, and enforcing this kind of law, has been proven, worldwide, to be innocuous, just like death penalties. I believe we should go the other way and decriminalize sale and use of ALL, just like Portugal did. Have control over the supply and, to some extent, the use.
Many of these drugs kill, and addict, more than they should because they're mixed out with stuff it shouldn't, etc...
By any logical reasoning, the criminality is a symptom of the underlying public health issue that drug use causes, not the other way around.

edit: criminalization and enforcement against users is an absolute waste of police resource. We could very well take a page from poorer countries that are doing better than us in controlling drug abuse crisis by crunching the supply. There are cities (and states/provinces) in South America that are poorer, with less resources and less qualified personnel doing a much better job than we are, and we could very well go learn HOW they do it.
 
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God

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Criminalizing, and enforcing this kind of law, has been proven, worldwide, to be innocuous, just like death penalties. I believe we should go the other way and decriminalize sale and use of ALL, just like Portugal did. Have control over the supply and, to some extent, the use.
Many of these drugs kill, and addict, more than they should because they're mixed out with stuff it shouldn't, etc...
By any logical reasoning, the criminality is a symptom of the underlying public health issue that drug use causes, not the other way around.

edit: criminalization and enforcement against users is an absolute waste of police resource. We could very well take a page from poorer countries that are doing better than us in controlling drug abuse crisis by crunching the supply. There are cities (and states/provinces) in South America that are poorer, with less resources and less qualified personnel doing a much better job than we are, and we could very well go learn HOW they do it.
I agree that criminalization is a waste of time however there needs to be better resources for these people to get help. The answer isn’t letting them roam the streets overdosing on the sidewalks either.
 

ChazYEG

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I agree that criminalization is a waste of time however there needs to be better resources for these people to get help. The answer isn’t letting them roam the streets overdosing on the sidewalks either.
Oh, I agree with you 100% on this. We're not doing enough to address this problem, from any angle, and seems like the resources spent are badly done so.
 

Greenspace

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IanO

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We do have a crime problem, but it is disappointing to hear that we need even MORE funds going forward.

EPS is incredibly well funded, very, very well paid and is resource rich.

Get back to basics EPS and have some presence on Whyte, Downtown, etc.
 

Aaron_Lloyd

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After hours of deliberation Wednesday, Edmonton city council voted to allocate less funding than originally planned for the Edmonton Police Service budget in 2022.

The EPS had expected to see $11.9 million added to its $383-million budget. But during budget deliberations at city hall Wednesday, council instead voted to reallocate $10.9 million to social agencies that will help with things like mental health calls, homelessness and incidents where police may not be the best response.
 

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