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In the middle of a meth crisis in Winnipeg, the police have asked members of the community to step up and help them battle the issue. 

William Whyte, located between Redwood Avenue and Selkirk Avenue, as well as Arlington Street and Main Street, has been identified as an area of the city that is subjected to high amounts of violent crime. These crimes often stem from the use of methamphetamine.

The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) is asking residents of that community to step up and join police in the fight against meth. The police, along with the Bear Clan Patrol and members of the community, are going around the neighbourhood to hand out Make the Right Call brochures.

william whyte 2Bonnie Emerson and Max Waddell speak to William Whyte Community School principal Cinzia Caputo. "The use of methamphetamine continues to drive acts of violence and is largely responsible for the continued increase of crime we've seen in Winnipeg," said Max Waddell, inspector of the organized crime unit at WPS. "We must focus on our illicit drug strategy and balance a combination of enforcement, provide accessible intervention to those in need, and lastly, educate all citizens about the dangers and use of illicit drugs."

Part of the education is giving people the correct place to call when they witness illicit drug use, illegal firearms, or gang member activity in their area. Waddell says citizens need to call and collectively work together as a community.

"It's the citizens of the community that can provide us with the intelligence we need to combat these crimes."

Already, two reported meth houses have been brought forward, and Wadell says his division will be looking into them immediately. He believes that is how they can build trust in those neighbourhoods.

"To enlist in anyone you have to spend quality time with those people, and that's exactly why we're doing this community education campaign today."

Dr. Ginette Poulin agrees, saying drug enforcement isn't the only way to solve the crisis.

william whyte 3A member of the Bear Clan Patrol watches as officers and community members rally together to fight the meth crisis. "Addictions is a complex, multi-faceted, profound issue that affects us all," said Poulin. "As such, the solution requires that we all take part in it."

Community activist Michael Champagne as also at the announcement and said that citizens need to step up to ensure their communities remain safe. 

The WPS Make the Right Call brochures continue information on reporting crimes to the police. They ask that citizens:

  • call 9-1-1 for emergencies. This includes when a crime is in progress, when people or property are currently at risk, or for any medical emergency.
  • call 204-986-6222 for non-emergencies. This includes suspicious circumstances, where a crime has occurred but the offender has left, or where no one is hurt or going to be hurt.
  • call 204-986-8435 for the Street Crime Unit tip line. This is for issues involving guns, gangs, or drugs, including meth.
  • call 204-986-3464 to report prostitution-related activities.
  • call 204-786-TIPS(8477) for share information about a crime while remaining anonymous.

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