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2013-02-25 at 16:49

Ugly statistics

By Leith Dunick,
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In 2011, Thunder Bay was the most dangerous city in Canada for women.

According to police-reported violence figures released Monday by Statistics Canada, women in the city were assaulted or attacked at a rate of 1,905 times per 100,000 people, higher than any other census metropolitan area in the nation. The rate represents 992 actual incidents

Saint John, N.B. was the next closest, with an incident rate of 1,733 per 100,000, while its nearby neighbour Moncton, N.B. had 1,530 violent incidents per 100,000 women.

Men fared little better in the report, with 1,507 incidents per 100,000, third highest in Canada behind Saskatoon and Kelowna, B.C.

Debbie Zweep, executive director of Faye Peterson Transition House, said it’s a disturbing trend, but not a surprising one.

“About 680 of every 1,000 police calls here in Thunder Bay are domestic calls, so this would fit with it,” Zweep said in an interview with Thunder Bay Television.

It’s also probably a lot worse than the statistics let on.

“The other thing we know from Faye Peterson is that only about five to 10 per cent of the women we work with actually call police.”

In Canada, the average rate of assaults against women is about 1,207 incidents per 100,000, Thunder Bay's figure is 57.8 per cent higher. The men’s rate is 30.9 per cent higher than the rest of the country.

“They are absolutely reflective of our experience here in Thunder Bay,” Zweep said.

Zweep added that she has spoken to police, who plan to investigate domestics differently than in the past. It’s something she hopes moves forward, and fast.

“We need to look at it and ask why do we have such a high incidence of domestics going on in this city. There are lots of reasons for that, lots of poverty, lots of substance use, lots of marginalization of people. Certainly those are underlying conditions that present for domestics."

Thunder Bay Deputy Police Chief Andy Hay agreed, but said the answer isn't spending more money on policing.

"The answer is not more police resources, rather an intelligent community response to stop domestic violence before it happens. The arrest and charging of a spouse or partner may stop the immediate threat, but without deploying community resources to address causation, safety planning and family support, the violence often repeats and in some cases escalates," Hay said in an email response.

Hay added police are working on a strategy to improve both the training and and experience for officers responding to domestic violence calls in the city in the former of a first-respoonse domestic violence unit. Police have also started talks with partner agencies, including both Faye Peterson and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Legal Services to develop "a co-ordinated response from all community partners involved serving victim families."

"It is important that all partners fully understand and appreciate the roles and responsibilities of each organization to ensure an effective and efficient response that will minimize duplication/gaps in service to victims. It is hoped that cross-training of all agencies will strengthen the support mechanisms in place for domestic violence victims," Hay said.

Zweep added that a group of people working at a variety of different agencies targeting violence against women have come together to combat the problem in a number of different ways.

They plan to present a deputation to city council outlining the issues at some point in March.

“Certainly we’re looking at having some input with regards to the police and maybe helping them with some training around specifically risk assessment. What are they seeing, where does it fall in the risk categories?

“I think reports like this just really give the public full awareness, the full information that this is a really big issue in Thunder Bay and there are things we should be doing about it.”


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bellamente says:
How exactly is a national average of 1207 per 100,000,57.8% less than Thunder Bay's 1905 per 100,000? I'm a touch confused on how the math got twisted....
2/25/2013 6:06:54 PM
SomeGuy says:
Maybe by people the mean women only? 50,000 females in Thunder Bay works out to about a rate of 1984 per 100,000.
2/25/2013 7:00:45 PM
appalled says:
"In Canada, the average rate of assaults against women is about 1,207 incidents per 100,000, Thunder Bay's figure is 57.8 per cent higher."

1207 * 1.578 = 1905.

Regardless of how you do the math its a scary statistic. Unfortunately too many women think they don't have options and go back to abusive relationships over and over. It took my aunt over 20 years to get the courage to leave.
2/25/2013 9:04:28 PM
dad3192 says:
And people come on here wondering why our police budget keeps going up.....I think the stats that get published here almost weekly should be a clue!
2/25/2013 7:17:26 PM
chezhank says:
Isn't the police budget a waste of money as it appears they can do nothing to stop the problem!
2/26/2013 7:33:44 AM
Baor says:
For someone who tries to sound informed and educated on budget type issues, you never fail to show us your true colours. Most of this violence occurs in the home THEN the police are called to start an hours long investigation into what happened...not....what is about to happen. Any Rhys monkey knows that, and surely you do to. I guess your ax was getting dull.
2/26/2013 11:30:40 AM
chezhank says:
I am happy you know that!
2/26/2013 1:25:53 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Dude, you have to give up on the cop hating thing.

Explain to me how they can prevent these incidents happening? Place an officer inside everyone's house? And of course they'd have to be volunteers, otherwise that would be expensive.

If you're a believer in long jail sentences "curing" people then blame the courts not the Police. If you believe in stronger social programs "curing" the people, then blame higher levels of government. But the police in these instances are a reactive measure. Nothing the Police can do to stop them from from occurring. All the police can do is show up after it's happened, spend a bunch of time and resources (the part that you're complaining about), but THEY CAN'T stop it before it happens. As long as there are high incident rates in this area and others, Police will be spending a lot of time investigating and reporting after the fact.

Again, please explain to me how the Police can stop the incidents from happening in the first place.
2/26/2013 12:10:04 PM
musicferret says:
There is no cop hating in his statement. Its a fact that seems to upset you: police DO NOT DO ANYTHING to prevent these crimes. Its not their fault, its just that policing is not the right tool.

In that sense, the police budget is a waste of money. A huge one.
You ask us to explain to you how the police can stop the incidents from happening. The answer? They can't. With that agreed upon by all sides, its time to start putting our money into something more helpful to society than more police and higher police wages. Its money down a giant black hole.
2/26/2013 2:45:58 PM
Baor says:
"There is no cop hating in his statement." You clearly haven't been here very long. Chezhank is known for this....on other websites as well. It has nothing to do with money, he jumps at any chance he can get to voice his disdain.
It doesnt upset me at all....I just like calling Henry out from time to time. I could care less what the police budget is or how many domestic violence calls they go to as neither have ever affected me.
2/26/2013 3:11:57 PM
advocate says:
Thunder Bay's is 57.8 percent higher. That is what the article states. 57.8 percent of 1207 is 698 (rounded up). 1207 + 698 = 1905.

So the math is correct.
2/25/2013 7:28:29 PM
caseyjones says:
@bellamente, the math didn't get twisted. It says Thunder Bay's incidence is 57.8% higher than the national average, not that the national average is 57.8% less than Thunder Bay's.
The math doesn't lie.
2/25/2013 7:49:33 PM
peas08 says:
No matter what the math is, one is one too many. Very sad.
2/25/2013 8:15:53 PM
Gord says:
It looks like a few people making comments need to go back to grade school math :)
2/25/2013 8:42:25 PM
blue says:
"There are lots of reasons for that, lots of poverty" ? My parents didn't have a pile of money but I never saw them have a cross word. Let not make excuses for this type of behavior. I know of one incidence where the husband was taken away and before he hit the station his wife called the station and complained the officer used too much force.When the officer tried to return the husband to his home that didn't go down too well either.How the hell can you stop situations like this?
2/25/2013 9:31:34 PM
Tiredofit says:
This only includes stuff that was reported so the true picture I'm sure is much higher (not just here). Either way, it's become a sad statement on today's society and Thunder Bay in general I'd say.
2/26/2013 7:00:58 AM
TWM says:
What is considered "domestic" in relation to crimial charges or police calls? I spoke a few years ago to an aboriginal court liason officer and she had mentioned that she noticed an increase in what police were catergorizing as domestic assualts or calls, even though through her 18 years experience, some of these calls were once not considered domestic in nature.
2/26/2013 8:05:40 AM
fastball says:
Start working on poverty and alcoholism. Take care of those, and see your numbers go down by a chunk.
Just my uneducated opinion, but I say a fair number of these assaults are committed by people who are under the influence.
2/26/2013 10:30:54 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Local police are hiding the criminality in this city by refusing to publish and make publicly available a 24-Hour Occurrence Report.
2/26/2013 12:50:22 PM
dad3192 says:
I remember when they used to publish all the calls the police and fire went to in the paper....then it stopped...
I think it would be great to see again! Give the cop hackers the actual figures! These stats just reflect one type of incident police go to...I can only imagine how many other calls they respond to that don't get any type of press, but still take time to ivestigate....
2/26/2013 3:55:25 PM
SomeGuy says:
We'd run out of ink.
2/26/2013 8:56:42 PM
timeforchange says:
I didn't use any foul language. I didn't mention anyone by name. What I did is criticize the work of our police service specifically the people who run the place not the people who actually respond to these calls.

So is that why my posting was not put up. Are we only allowed to criticize certain people.
2/26/2013 4:39:31 PM
timeforchange says:
I will try once more. This is more proof that the results offered by our police service in actually doing something about crime are meaningless. I am sure they will tell us that these stats are distorted because the victim was known to the accused. Somehow that is supposed to make us safe. In all domestic disputes the victim is known to the accused. Why are those crimes serious but not others.

In hockey you can tinker with the players sign free agents install systems but if the same old results keep coming in you change the coaches and general manager. It also happens in business so why not here.

If you keep fighting crime the same old way we will get the same old results. It is time to change the coaches and GM and the ownership because us fans, the taxpayer are not getting our money's worth. Lousy crime rates over budgets and our Zen GURU Board Chair Joe Virdiramo says he has no intention at looking at alternatives. He has got to go, and Hobbs needs to be listened too.
2/26/2013 9:18:57 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Would putting a cop on every corner help?
2/27/2013 10:28:56 AM
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