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The supervised consumption sites report, released last March, detailed “a system of chaos” related to an uptick in crime and social disorder.
“This report stands on its own in relation to its unique findings, which counter everything else that has been published in legitimate journals and scholarly forums,” said Livingston.
In his article, he wrote that the panel tasked with reviewing crime related to supervised consumption sites assessed two indirect indicators of crime: police service calls and public perception. Then, not only was the data improperly presented, but failed to undergo adequate analysis, he wrote.
“As such, the crime-related results and claims derived from this data source and presented in the report should be viewed as very low quality, at high risk of bias and neither credible nor dependable,” it reads.
“Claims of change were further weakened by the fact that the police service call data were not converted to rates. Standardizing crime data by the total population . . . is the key for comparing crime-related trends over time, between groups and across geographic areas.”
Canadian scientists and academics, including Livingston, called on the Alberta government to retract the report following its release, citing “grave concerns” related to “poor methodological quality, lack of transparency and biased presentation of results.”
The government has declined to withdraw it.
Kassandra Kitz, press secretary to associate minister of mental health Jason Luan, said they appreciate further review of the report but stand behind its findings.