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2012-07-24 at 13:27

Crime rate dips

By Jodi Lundmark,
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Thunder Bay’s police chief is relieved the city is no longer the murder capital of Canada.

After being ranked No. 1 for homicides in 2010, the city didn’t even make the top three in 2011.  Winnipeg took the title this year followed by Halifax and Edmonton.

“I have to admit I got pretty tired of that handle after a while,” said Chief J.P. Levesque. “It’s a statistic but we’re really talking about human life.”

Stats Canada released their police-reported crime report  for 2011 Tuesday and Thunder Bay’s overall crime rate decreased by four points and the violent crime rate decreased by eight.

“We’re pleased to see it,” Levesque said.

However, Levesque is not pleased that Thunder Bay is No. 3 in overall crime and crimes of violence for cities with a population of at least 100,000.

“That’s something to work on and we’re hoping that this time next year we see our 2012 stats, they’ll be even better,” he said.

Levesque attributes the decline in reported crimes to the hard work of the men and women of the Thunder Bay Police Service and he said the community is also getting a better sense of the issues that drive crime like substance abuse and other social issues.

With initiatives like the alcohol management program, Levesque said there is a realization the community needs to work on these social issues and not just rely on the police to solve these problems.

Also affecting the city’s crime severity index is the rash of convenience store robberies that happened in the last year.

The chief said most of those robberies can also be attributed to social issues.

“It’s desperate people. They’re looking to get their next fix. That’s our real concern,” he said.

The crime severity index report released Tuesday showed that overall crime across the country had dropped by six per cent in 2011, which brought it to its lowest level since 1972.

But while crime overall decreased, the number of sexual offences involving children increased three per cent. Luring a child using a computer rose 10 per cent since 2010 and child pornography charges went up 40 per cent.

While the numbers haven’t spiked like that in Thunder Bay, it is a national trend that Levesque said they have to keep their eye on.
“We need to remain vigilant and cognizant of that specific area as it relates to crime,” said the chief, adding they hope to keep a lid on that type of activity through their computer crime unit.
Already more than halfway through 2012, Levesque said so far their numbers are down considerably from last year.

One thing that will be a help is the extension of the provincial anti-violence intervention strategy funding. The Thunder Bay Police Service receives about $600,000 and that fund was set to expire in March 2013.

But the funding has been extended by the province due to recent gun violence in Toronto.

“That’s really good news because that money goes directly towards our integrated gang unit to combat violence and gang-related issues,” said Levesque.

Below are Thunder Bay’s crime severity index numbers:

2011 Crime Severity Index

• Thunder Bay total crime severity index is 107.3, down -4 points from 2010

• Thunder Bay violent crime severity index is 128.7, down -8 points from 2010

• Thunder Bay is ranked 48th in Canada for the overall crime severity index

• Thunder Bay is ranked 27th in Canada for violent crime

• Thunder Bay is ranked 63rd in Canada for non-violent crime


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theendgame says:
as Mark Twain once said: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.'
7/24/2012 3:05:08 PM
troubleshooter says:
In terms of the total crime severity index for census metropolitan areas(100,000 people or more), Regina is first, Saskatoon second, and Thunder Bay third. In violent crime severity, Winnipeg is first, then Saskatoon, and Thunder Bay third.
7/24/2012 3:14:45 PM
barry medawin says:
The 2 key words here being "reported crime".
7/24/2012 3:25:18 PM
canrebel53 says:
I guess our Cities Finest forgot to forward all the Mac's robbery's to Statistics Canada, now don't laugh it could happen.
7/24/2012 3:35:47 PM
tbay99 says:
This seems very hard to believe...
7/24/2012 3:47:17 PM
dwgbuck says:
7/24/2012 4:31:59 PM
Arch Stanton says:
Recent Studies show that more than 88% of Statistics are made up...
7/24/2012 4:43:45 PM
spinthebig4 says:
Come on people...Crime is down, lowest levels since '72. That feeling that you have, you know that sceptical feeling, you can thank your media for that. They prove again and again, that if it bleeds it leads. I've lived here for nearly my whole life, I can't think of one instance where I was violently assaulted. In my lifetime, I've had 2 bicycles stolen from me, I wouldn't say crime is prevalent. I'm way more worried about white collar crime and corruption than I am of the traditional, 'reportable' crime rate of our town, and country.
7/24/2012 4:49:21 PM
dwgbuck says:
You should re-read the article, Overall across the country crime is at it's lowest since 72' I can assure you that local crime is not at its lowest level for the same time period.
7/24/2012 6:26:04 PM
tsb says:
Crime in Thunder Bay actually is lower than in the 1970s and 1980s. The crime rate in all of North America peaked during those decades. Thunder Bay experienced 4 to 7 murders per year back then. We have the same population now that we did then, too. The past decade was the first time since record keeping began that we started to see entire years go by without a recorded homicide.
7/25/2012 12:53:52 PM
eddylives says: sure would be nice to see the headline "Crime Rate Plummets" instead.
7/24/2012 5:13:48 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Aaaah, now I get the reason behind the anti-bike blitzkrieg...what like, 140 years after the bike was invented?
7/24/2012 6:38:29 PM
Kam River says:
Last week’s deadly Danzig St. Toronto, shooting that killed two innocent people and injured 23 others was a drug gang shooting. With council pro drug possition we can expect to see shooting in our neighbourhoods, plus city admin is working on a safe injection site for with May street near shelter house or in the Bay and Algoma area. Why is council so supportive of Drugs and Drug dealers.
7/24/2012 6:54:47 PM
big joe mufferaw says:
If crime rates are down, why are we building more prisons? Who's "friends" are going to benefit from the construction contracts? Who are we going to put in the prisons? If what we are doing is working why are we changing?
7/24/2012 7:42:16 PM
The Wolf says:
The stat I really want to see is the crime level when you take out all the crimes where the victim is related or knows the criminal.
7/25/2012 12:45:30 AM
jonthunder says:
If crime is down then reduce the numnber of police offers and cut the policing budget; or do we need them to nail bikers on sidewalks, and justify those incompetent bike lanes and shared roadways - either way mortality increases?
7/25/2012 12:53:08 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
What else can you do with pay cheque addicts? It's hard to wean them off.
7/25/2012 8:14:35 PM
passlake says:
I've said the same thing about the declining number of fires, while we relatively have the same amount of firemen we've had since the 50's (minus one station), yet I get berated every time I suggest it.

A lot of work for police to do still, maybe shifting department staff around a little bit to reflect changing trends?
7/25/2012 10:50:29 PM
TBDR says:
reading this comments section on positive news stories is like watching an episode of Conspiracy Theory, without the nostalgia of the former WWF superstar turned lunatic, Jessie Ventura.
7/25/2012 1:06:10 AM
wayne says:
do people feel safe now? arson on the rise, idiots with machetes, vandalism at an all-time high, losers robbing flood victims. the violent crimes tend to be people who know each other...fighting over that last oxy pill or bottle of beer. yeah, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside because some incomplete and distorted stats say crime has dipped.
7/25/2012 1:50:15 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
Yet Wayne, if the headline read "Crime Stats Show Big Jump" you'd be all over it like it was the word of the Gospel.
7/25/2012 10:53:42 AM
big joe mufferaw says:
@ Kam River: Where do you get the idea that council is supportive of drugs and drug dealers. That's absurd! What is more supportive of drugs and drug dealers are our current laws which actually protect the drug dealers market...we support their monopoly and criminalize the victims hence keeping the price up and the market monopolized. Instead, we should be taking a medical approach and supporting the victims. The rest of the world is moving the drug problem from a police issue to a medical issue and they are actually making progress...North America does the opposite, thinks they're fighting a war on drugs and helps the drug dealer maintain a highly lucrative market. Let's not spread more misinformation.
7/25/2012 7:10:41 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
What in heaven's name will we do with all the judges, cops, lawyers, jailers, social workers and politicians who are all so hopelessly addicted to paycheques?
7/25/2012 8:19:12 PM
unheard says:
council likes the users because they probably get funding to "help" them
7/25/2012 8:07:34 AM
yellowsnow says:
It's really unfortunate that even good news brings out the whiners in full force around here. I wonder where Thunder Bay would rank in a Stats Canada Ranking of the most negative citizens??
7/25/2012 8:32:53 AM
Sui Generis says:
I don't see any good news. I see misrepresented statistics to give the public a false sense of security. How is that good news?
7/25/2012 12:25:30 PM
dad3192 says:
Instead of opening more methadone clinics and substituting one addictive opiate drug for another, why dont we try something that works?
Maybe clinics should be looking at Suboxone, an opiate blcoker that actually gets addicts off drugs altogether?
Oh yeah...cuz then the doctors that run the drug clinics (who aren't even from Thunder Bay), and the drug companies that make big bucks from the methadone program would see less income.
Why substitue one monster for another, when there is something that actually works available?
7/25/2012 11:00:33 AM
citizenreporter says:
Shame on the TBNEWSWATCH for having a misleading headline to this story. Thunder Bay is #3 on the list. How has the crime rate "dipped" if we are still ranked in the top three for cities with the worst crime rate?

We might not have had the past years high murder rate but violent crime in this city is on the rise. Just look at past stories you have published on the recent arson's, stabbings and robberies. Not to mention the ones you have not covered.

Leith and Scott you really need to hire some investigative journalists at Tbnewswatch instead of allowing parrots to report the news.

I sincerely hope this comment is posted and not ignored because of criticism of the TBnewswatch.
7/25/2012 12:43:13 PM
editor@tbnewswatch says:
Well, according to Statistics Canada the crime rate for 2011 was lower than that of 2010. Thus, the headline reads that the crime rate has taken a ‘dip.’ The story is also based on the raw data released by Statistics Canada Tuesday. We mention that despite the ‘dip’ Thunder Bay is still ranked no. 3 on the list for overall crime. It is about five sentences in I believe. So I’m not really sure what your point is. As for our parrot reporters – it took a lot of time, effort and money to train those birds so we aren’t about to give up on them now. ^SP
7/25/2012 3:40:53 PM
citizenreporter says:
"So I’m not really sure what your point is. As for our parrot reporters – it took a lot of time, effort and money to train those birds so we aren’t about to give up on them now. ^SP"

My point Scott is that crime has not gone down, people have just stopped reporting it to the police. As well as if you look at past reports from your site you see crime has been steadily increasing.

Perhaps more training is needed for these reporters. Maybe some writing classes, investigative journalism courses, and critical thinking.......
7/26/2012 2:59:10 PM
jimmyboy says:
Yet another not too eat yellow snow as has been known by the police themselves thru the years that all of the various types of crime here in Thunder Bay are NOT reported to the public or the media...much of what happens here is swept under the rug so no ones from the general public really gets the total picture of all the crimes that happen.!
7/25/2012 3:47:10 PM
ringettemom says:
All the top cities on the list have large populations of people coming in from other northern communities, and very large addiction levels. Coincidence?
Help people get off the drugs!! Then you'll lower your crime rates and start pumping money back into the cities where it belongs. Take a look at Guelph's strategic planning for the last 5 years and compare it to ours.
7/25/2012 4:13:05 PM
Free Speech FAIL says:
I wonder what the criteria is for commenting on stories here? I wrote a well thought out reply yesterday to have it denied, yet I_speak_the_truth had 3 useless comments. Ohhh censorship you're so lame.
7/27/2012 9:04:46 AM
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