Volume 94, Issue 83

Wednesday, February 28, 2001


Prof may have cheated - Quits under suspicion of academic fraud

Crime linked to abuse: study

Eight Trent protesters hole up in VP's office

Investigation continues into U of T grade-change charges

Gun registry asks biz sector for help - Advocacy group says gov't shooting itself in foot


His Royal Mintiness

Crime linked to abuse: study

By Yasna Markovic
Gazette Staff

A recent study has reported that 53 per cent of people arrested in Canada are under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of their arrest.

Commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the study focused on the relationship between substance abuse and crime, said Barry King, Brockville's Chief of Police and chair of the Drug Abuse Committee of the CACP.

"This study is only a small part of a study being conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse", King said, adding the study will provide law enforcement officials with scientific data that will determine the relationship between substance abuse and crime, the social costs of violent crime, and how to best direct funding.

Over 60 per cent of crimes committed are related to substance abuse, King confirmed, but added this study will uncover exactly what percentage of crimes are committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol, what types of crimes are committed and the motivation of the crimes.

A similar study conducted in 1996 reported the cost of substance abuse was $18.4 billion, with only $1 billion attributed to actual crime, King said.

He added the CACP felt this was inaccurate and another study was necessary.

Const. Ryan Holland of the London Police said alcohol, drugs or both substances play a major role in some of the investigations that lead to arrests in the Forest City.

"In some cases, these products do have a negative impact on these people's lives," he said. Holland also said the study will be beneficial in presenting the detriments of drug and alcohol use.

Paul Whitehead, a sociology professor at Western, said the statistics quoted in the study are not new.

"Individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more apt to draw the attention of the police."

The study, titled "Attributal Fractions of Crime and Substance Abuse," will be available in its entirety next month.

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