Chatham-Kent police set a record for the amount of drugs taken off the streets in 2020.

In the annual report presented to the Chatham-Kent Police Service Board earlier this week, $11.5 million dollars’ worth of drugs were confiscated last year, a jump of $3.3 million over the year before.

Chief Conn says economic pressures caused by the pandemic lead to an increase in property crimes.

“Although there is a direct correlation between our property and drug offences, 2020 only saw a slight downward trend in residential property crime by 2%, however our drugs and street crime unit were tenacious in locally combating the opioid crisis,” Conn says.

Officers executed on average five warrants a month with criminal charges almost doubling to 321. The drugs of choice in CK remain fentanyl, meth, and cocaine.

Residential break-ins decreased very slightly in 2020, but break-ins to businesses across Chatham-Kent were up 67%.

Fire investigators were kept busy in 2020 with cases of arson up a whopping 233% over 2019.

On the roads, Chief Conn says there were fewer in collisions last year than in 2019, although tragically several lives still lost.

“Eight fatalities, eight serious life threatening injuries, and call-outs of the Traffic Unit decreasing by 34% from 32 in 2019 to 21 in 2020,” Conn explains.

Conn says progress has been made in fighting crime in the municipality, but there is still lots of work to be done.