Saskatoon police discovering other ways to cope with illicit drug prices for minor offenders

Finding alternative ways to deal with illicit drug charges was on the agenda for the Saskatoon Police Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday afternoon.

Sergeant Erica Weber tabled the report called keeping offenders with minimal criminal history out of the justice system.

She says when someone has offended the Saskatoon Police Service is looking for them to take responsibility.

“They have to be willing to make restitution or willing to participate in a community-based program. If they’re not willing to do that, the program won’t be successful and we won’t be able to support them,” Weber said.

Other factors include that the person does not pose a risk to the community, the person must not be diverted more than twice in the past year, and not have a substantial criminal record for similar offenses.

Unsuccessful pre-charge diversions are routed to Weber for further follow-up of charges instead of being routed back to the investigative officer.

She says officers have already discussed with her if a case fits under certain criteria.

“It’ll be a charge that’s probably in the gray area so just saying you know what, what do you think? Would this meet this threshold? We’d love to create this opportunity for this individual,” Weber said.

Cooper says people, in particular youth, can become stuck in the justice system by missing a court date or breaching probation for a minor reason.

“If we can avoid that in the right cases, it will stop people from having criminal records. When you have a criminal record that changes your life,” Cooper said.

The report says numerous criminal code offenses such as theft, mischief, and fraud under $5,000 dollars can also be diverted from the justice system.

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