More cops, more violence

A new report claims increased policing increases drug-related violence

A new report by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS says increased policing does nothing to halt the violence that follows the illegal drug trade—in fact, stepping up law enforcement tactics only increases it. According to lead researcher Dr. Evan Wood, the federal Conservatives’
law-and-order legislation that would see criminals sentenced to ever-longer sentences will only heighten turf wars between criminal gangs. “When you destabilize the market by taking key players out,” he said, “violence will ensue.” Wood says governments would be better off regulating the drug trade to take the criminal element out of the distribution process. Critics of the report point out that while there may be a temporary spike in violence as criminals rush to fill the void in the drug market, the long-term effects of criminalization are worth the trouble. “If you allow criminals to just run rampant and you allow the drugs to run rampant, there will be increased violence.”

National Post

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