New Unit To Crack Down On Northern Drugs, Gangs

Monday, September 14, 2009 at 14:39



A new law enforcement unit designed to combat drug and gang activity in northern Saskatchewan will begin operating on Oct. 1.


Today, the province’s minister for Corrections and Public Safety, Yogi Huyghebaert, announced the creation of the seven-person group.


Composed of four RCMP officers and three officers from the Prince Albert Police Service, the group will travel around northern Saskatchewan, addressing specific problems.


Huyghebaert says one of the unit’s main strategies will be to disrupt the flow of drugs between Prince Albert and the north.


“We know that there’s a migration of some of those illegal activities that come into Prince Albert, and I understand that 40 per cent of the arrests in Prince Albert are drug- and gang-related, and they’re from people who have migrated from northern communities into Prince Albert,” Huyghebaert says.


Meantime, an official with the RCMP says the unit will rely on intelligence fed to it from northern detachments.


Insp. Mercer Armstrong says the group will also have jurisdiction both on- and off-reserve.


“They will go there obviously as sworn peace officers. They have authority in the province. And wherever there is currently policing, they will also be able to operate,” Armstrong says.


He adds that the new group’s efforts are intended to complement work that is already underway.