Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh Those Darn Statistics

Crime in Canada is at it's lowest level in 25 years. Actually, it's down 30% since it's peak in 1991. That's good news! It kind of puts the kybosh on the Conservatives running on a law and order platform, though.
Interesting to me, are the Toronto stat's. How often do we hear what a horrible, crime ridden city this is? The most notable decline in homicides was in Toronto. In fact the rate in TO is 1.85 homicides, per 100,000, compared to 4.5 in Edmonton, 3.7, Regina, 3.3 in Saskatoon, 3.0 in Winnipeg 2.5 in Vancouver, and 2.3 Calgary.
All in all, good news.


Anonymous said...

You won't hear the CPC accuse this reduction in crime being caused by the Liberal under their watch will you.

Harper was using crime and the fear factor like Bush does - the fear factor. Hmmm...

Is Harper going to thank the Liberals for the reduction in crime? Afterall, his crime package has all been approved or implemented and Harper had absolutely nothing to do with this good news.

Time may be on the Liberals side after all.

knb said...

Is Harper going to thank the Liberals for the reduction in crime?

Nope. Of course he'll try to take credit, however, these are 2006 numbers and he can claim none of it.

It also occurs to me, that Comartin of the NDP, (whom I respect incidentally), got it wrong when he supported some of the Harper measures.

Now, that said, I think there are a myriad of factors playing into this number.

In TO, I can say that the new police chief had a solid strategy and I don't think he yet has all the officers he wanted. Everyone lamented the departure of Fantino, yet Blair seems to be doing a better job. I think the economy probably plays into it, though I haven't thought it through. I know that 1991, was not a good time though. Of course, we have an aging population and that might be a factor, but not to be missed, are the laws and strategy brought in by the Lib's.

If Harper crows, which he will, he must be exposed by the truth, quickly.

All this prancing around claiming credit for the great state of the country, without acknowledging what the Lib's had in place, is foolish.

The Lib's had better start setting the record straight.

Anonymous said...

Ya - Harper is crowing in South America too about Canada's people and the economy, etc.

Harper didn't do anything here either.

I read where Sarkozy of France (Conservative) admires our present government and he is really interested in how Canada got out of such bad debt and started to flourish in the 1990's - ah, Mr. Sarkozy - that was a Liberal government.

knb said...

Oh, wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversation?

Flaherty has screwed up big time, but that won't show for a while.

Peruse the economy of the country historically. Who get's us in trouble?

If Flaherty gives France advice...look out France.

Anonymous said...

Crime is down in Toronto since the money left, but out where the action is in Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan, the murder rates are still high. "All in all, good news" you report. Problem over.

Nothing Toronto-centric about that. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what advice Sarkozy got, seems that the French President has been railing against globalization and the need to protect domestic industry from competitive forces.

Flaherty the protectionist? Nah.

knb said...

Anon @ 8:26, ohh, a bit jealous?

It's about time that Toronto was able to tell Canada that we are not the scum that the right paints us to be.

Brave, brave anon...tell us who you are, where you come from. Why you think you are better than us?

Steve V said...

"Crime is down in Toronto since the money left, but out where the action is in Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan, the murder rates are still high"

Someone should really start a "Asinine Comment Of The Day" feature.

Gayle said...

Demographics may play a small role, but most social scientists and criminologists credit the economy.

The issues in Alberta are multi-layered. For example, the stats contemplate charges and not convictions, and the police here tend to be "zero-tolerance" (I once had to deal with a kid who was charged with stealing milk a cookies from his group home - he decided to have a snack at a time that was not a designated "snack time". The charge was withdrawn on the trial date). Also, while our economy is hot, the cost of living is increasing substantially, leaving the poorer members of our society literally out in the cold. I would guess we have a significantly higher homeless population now than we did 5 years ago. People on the street are vulnerable, and therefore tend to arm themselves, and therefore tend to use their weapons when threatened.

I do believe some of the liberal policies have resulted in crime reduction, but the truth is even the liberals were far more focused on reaction than on prevention.

I also believe Harper's crime policy is a huge step back. Increasing incarceration for young persons, for example, will likely lead to more of those young persons graduating to the adult system. I cannot quote you stats on that, but I speak from experience working with these youth.

Finally, Harper's crime policy has been priced in the range of 250 billion dollars. That is a lot of money for a program that is highly unlikely not to reduce crime, and in fact may result in an increase.

We are already not funding things because we have to fund a war. What else is going to lose out on funding if Harper is given an opportunity to implement this plan?

knb said...

Gayle...really good points.

I do believe some of the liberal policies have resulted in crime reduction, but the truth is even the liberals were far more focused on reaction than on prevention.

Historically, yes, I agree. More recently though, focus went to prevention and it's working. That sentiment has given rise to a number of groups in TO. Their success rate has been high, so high in fact, that there was an announcement today about expansion of such initiatives.

Harper and gang were and are dead wrong on this one. It'll be interesting to see how they spin.

Gayle said...

knb - I happen to have some inside knowleldge on this one, so I am aware that the Harperites are not particularly interested in prevention. They have funded a few programs, but they want instant results, which really is not possible. It seems what they really want is to "prove" programs do not work, and that higher sentences are all that are left. As I say, however, you cannot prove anything if you want results in months rather than years.

I recently met with a number of people who work with crime prevention, including police officers and probation officers - they all agree that this government is too short sighted and bureaucratic in this area, which they all believe relates to ideology.

knb said...

Gayle, what fascinates me about this stuff, is watching the bureaucrats. They sit at committee meetings and defend this gov't with gusto. I know it's their job to support the government of the day, but they seem content now. I see a new lack of objectivity.

That is worrisome to me. I think we're watching conservative creep and we'd better start shouting about it.

Your last paragraph is good news. The people who are on the front lines, who are actually participating in change, need a voice.

The current government shut them down with respect to gun control and frankly, I would have liked to have seen more outrage. I know they cannot become political, but there must be a way to get the message out.

true liberal said...

Here, here! I love it when people expose the sensationalist obsession with crime as what it really is, paranoia. We've become such a spoiled society with all of our affluence and worries taken care. The only thing left to worry about is public safety. And safe we are!

What worries me is when this false sense of danger encourages Canadians to give up their civil liberties to police forces. To appease the Sunmedia-reading masses, police now do more "anti-gang" raids than ever. In poor areas of Toronto, one is liable to get their door kicked in in the middle of the night on suspicion of being "connected". And from the left, we have calls for gun bans, ignoring the fact that the limited number of murders are done with illegal weapons in the first place.

Canadians need to step back and look at our country for what it is. One of the safest societies known in the hisory of humanity! If we try to cut crime rates any lower (I'm looking at you Harper), we get into the realm of diminishing returns. We could continue to spend billions on law enforcement and eliminate as many civil rights as we want, and it still won't get much better than it is now!

true liberal said...

Just for comparison purposes, the last I heard, Washington D.C.'s murder rate was 60/100,000! And it's still relatively safe compared to most fo the developing world.

By the way, D.C. has a had a gun ban for years. Just something to think about when claiming gun laws will lower murder rates...