Chatham-Kent police took a large amount of drugs off the streets and seized hundreds of firearms last year.
An annual report being presented to the police services board on Wednesday shows officers seized drugs 544 times in 2022, half of them methamphetamine and fentanyl. The report shows that 31 per cent of the seizures were methamphetamine and 23 per cent were fentanyl.
Police officers in Chatham-Kent also seized almost 400 firearms last year. According to police, 390 firearms, such as rifles and shotguns, pellet guns and replica guns, restricted handguns, and bows and crossbows were seized along with plenty of ammunition. Ammunition and non-restricted rifle and shotguns made up the largest percentage of last year's seizures at 41 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. Police also said 310 pounds of ammunition was destroyed in one session alone in October of 2022.
Court officers also seized nearly double the amount of weapons compared to last year upon screening people entering the Chatham court. Police said 124 weapons, such as knives, steel bars, torches, syringes, and handcuff keys, were seized last year compared to 67 in 2021.
"As part of the day to day operations, members of the Court Services section are responsible for screening all patrons entering the building, as well as monitoring those who have been identified as a threat to staff and the judiciary. The said screening process has resulted in the seizure of various items and weapons that pose a threat to building occupants," stated a portion of the year-end report.
The other parts of the report submitted by the Administrative Support Branch shows that intimate partner crime was up slightly in 2022 compared to the previous year. The report stated that there were more charges laid in fewer incidents last year. There were 1,788 intimate partner incidents reported last year compared to 1,839 in 2021, but 288 charges were laid last year compared to 270 in 2021.
The Emergency Communications Centre also reported a two per cent decrease in the volume of telephone calls last year compared to 2021. However, officials said the calls for service are getting longer because of social disorders and mental health issues.
"All of the aforementioned requires lengthy telephone conversations to satisfy policy and legislative requirements on calls service delivery," stated the report. "This trend continued in 2022 despite a slight decrease in overall volume."