Regina sits second in the country in the Total Crime Severity Index in a new report released on Monday by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

“Meth is driving a lot of the crime in our community there’s no question about that,” said Evan Bray, Regina Police Chief.

The City of Regina saw the Total Crime Rate rise by eight per cent from 2017-to-2018, climbing from 8,681 incidents per 100,000 in 2017 to 9,521 in 2018.

The largest increases were seen in the robbery (26 per cent), breaking-and-entering (23 per cent) and motor vehicle theft (51 per cent) rates.

Regina also led the country in breaking-and-entering rate with 876 incidents. It also had the highest rate of motor vehicle theft with 667 incidents.

“Meth is causing people to act irrationally, stay up for hours, be paranoid, commit criminal offenses and we’re seeing that when our theft of auto rate is high,” said Bray.

Regina’s rising crime numbers directly correlate with the rise of meth use in the city.

Drug and Alcohol Counsellor Rand Teed said addicts stop worrying about anything except the drug.

“With violent crimes, one of the things that we need to understand about drug use is it really changes people’s capacity to care about anything,” said Teed. “Their drug use becomes a really basic need, like air, food or water.”

The violent crime rate in Regina rose by three per cent in 2017 to 1,228 incidents in 2018, which put Regina ninth among Census Metropolitan Areas.

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere says they’re working to address the increases, but insists that the city remains safe.

“Every city has crime, every city has these difficulties in different ways and different measures,” said Fougere. “We are a safe city, there’s no question about that, we do our surveys with the public and they continue to say that they feel safe in the city.”

While crime is up year-over-year, the stats also show over the past decade, crime has dropped 23 per cent in Regina.

The full report can be viewed on Statistics Canada’s website