Growing meth problem has Fredericton Police concerned

·2 min read
An increase in methamphetamine use in Fredericton is causing a dangerous environment for the city, said Inspector Mike Berry. (Ontario Provincial Police - image credit)
An increase in methamphetamine use in Fredericton is causing a dangerous environment for the city, said Inspector Mike Berry. (Ontario Provincial Police - image credit)

Methamphetamine addiction is becoming a significant problem and is creating a dangerous environment in Fredericton, according to the city's police force.

On Tuesday, the city's police chief called the problem significant during a discussion about homelessness in the city and pointed to outlaw motorcycle gangs.

""Let's not kid ourselves, they are definitely involved in the distribution of meth," said Police Chief Roger Brown.

Fredericton Police Inspector Mike Berry, who also co-leads a group called the Atlantic Meth Strategy, said the growing drug problem is affecting the city in multiple ways.

"It impacts us through crime, it impacts us through the justice system, it impacts us … at the hospital," said Berry.

"There's break and enters, there's theft. We're seeing a high [rate] of firearms associated with meth. That's a significant trend we're seeing."

Dangerous environment

Berry said it's "fair" to say the drug is creating a dangerous environment in the city, especially for users of the drug.

"It causes the users paranoia," said Berry.

"They hallucinate. They can be extremely aggressive … They don't sleep. They sometimes go for days and weeks without sleep."

Berry said police intelligence indicates the meth being sold in Fredericton is originating in Ontario and Quebec, as well as the United States and Mexico.

He said the police have had some success in arresting and prosecuting gangs who are bringing the drug into the city.

"We've had two arrests where there was methamphetamine involved with an outlaw full patch motorcycle gang member that's presently before the courts," said Berry.

"That was a result of intelligence. That was a result of information sharing … It's truly everybody working together."

Stiffer sentencing

Berry said he would like to see stiffer sentences for drug traffickers and dealers, especially at high levels.

But he said he doesn't think the same should apply to users.

"I'm not so sure that's always the best answer," said Berry.

"I think they need other help other than being incarcerated in jail."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting