Thunder Bay Police spokesperson Chris Adams presents the 2012 Annual Report at the Police Services Board meeting on Tuesday. The report showed a drop in the amount of violent crime, property crime, and youth crime to levels that mark a three-year low.
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Strategies to reduce crime in the city are working, concludes a police service board report released Tuesday.
Using numbers from Statistics Canada, The Thunder Bay Police Service Board's 2012 annual report highlighted the drops in violent crime, property crime and youth crime, all of which have hit three-year lows.
Thunder Bay chief of police J.P. Levesque credits the drop to strategies that involve the police force working with community partners to use alternative methods to treat crime in the city.
“There’s a number of contributors. I think our men and women do a wonderful job as can be seen by the numbers. Our clearance rate is one of the highest in the country and has been for quite some time,” Levesque explained.
“The other thing is there is a sense of what is the root cause of crime, and we’re getting a better handle on that within the community itself. You’re seeing things like treatment and diversion so I think that all contributes to the significant drop we saw in 2012.”
Police spokesman Chris Adams presented the findings of the report, which echoed numbers released earlier this year by Statistics Canada and showed the city’s Crime Severity Index fell 17 per cent.
“We did notice a significant decrease in our violent crime rate and our property crime rate,” Adams said. “That was reflected earlier in the year when Stats Canada released the statistics for all police boards across Canada. The decrease of just over nine per cent in both categories is quite significant.”
Within the report, the total number of youth charged with crimes dropped to the lowest levels in five years.
Adams explained the drop in youth crime demonstrated co-operation between the police and members of the community, and provides evidence that initiatives to shift youth away from criminal activity has been effective.
“Youth crime comes down to a couple of factors. Dealing with youth there are opportunities to divert. I think what that shows is that there is more effort being made in the community to assist youth.
“I think we have to really acknowledge that our city is getting better at responding to the concerns that have been expressed by both the public and our police about our youth and what we do as far as supporting them, getting to them, connecting with them and getting them involved in programs before they commit crimes.”
While violent crime numbers are down, there's still room for improvement. The city had seven homicides in 2012 and just over 1,100 occurrences of violent crime.
“We are still concerned about the violent crime rate,” Adams said. “While there was a decrease we have to acknowledge the fact that we are still in the top-10 in the country.”
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