By Colby Cosh - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 0 Comments
Police today are solving fewer homicides than they did in the 1960s
If one were to choose a single core responsibility of the state, it would probably be the prevention of violence. Protecting people from homicide could not be more intimately related to the origins of, and the justification for, government. So how come we don’t talk much about how poorly or well we are doing at it? In the early 1960s, according to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, it was typical for Canadian police to solve 90 to 95 per cent of all murders. The figures for recent years, after a long and steady decline, are generally below 80 per cent; in one year, 2008, the clearance rate dipped to slightly below 70 per cent.
Numbers released in June by the CCJS show that Canadian investigators enjoyed a good performance in 2010 by recent standards, clearing 75.3 per cent of homicides. A homicide is normally “cleared” by laying a charge against a perpetrator, or by the mere identification of one for cases in which no arrest is possible (murder-suicides or self-defence killings, for example). An odd feature of the decline in homicide clearances is that it does not appear to bear any relationship to overall homicide rates, which peaked in the mid-1970s and have been dropping ever since. Police are simply solving slightly fewer of the homicides they are presented with every year, irrespective of how violent the social environment is. Continue…
By Ken MacQueen and Patricia Treble - Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 5:58 AM - 0 Comments
Gang wars, drug abuse and a serial killer guaranteed Prince George, B.C., the top spot
Most days, after Doug Leslie is back from work at the molybdenum mine in tiny Fraser Lake, B.C., he sits at his computer and writes a chatty little note to his 15-year-old daughter Loren. It’s a catch-up on the day, and maybe a bleat about those times he pulls the night shift, or about the cold of a northern B.C. winter, or about how quickly days ﬂy by now that he shoulders the destiny Loren has inspired. “Loren, can you do anything about this weather?” he asked her recently. “It’s snowing and I hate winter, it’s cold and damp, and you are not here to warm up the room.” Invariably, he tells Loren how much he misses her, before signing off, “Love Dad.”
The notes grew increasingly plaintive as Nov. 27 approached. The pills weren’t helping him sleep, and the gulf separating father from daughter seemed impossibly wide, although he’d like to believe she reads every one of his messages. “That has been my sanity,” he says of his missives to a daughter who will forever be 15. Nov. 27 was the first anniversary of her murder.
By Nicholas Köhler with Patricia Treble - Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 3:30 PM - 54 Comments
Why do Canada’s most populous provinces—Quebec and Ontario—boast so many of its safest cities?
Of the largest 100 cities or regions in Canada, the 10 safest are in Quebec and Ontario, Canada’s two most populous provinces. The Ontario city with the highest crime score is Belleville, population 51,000 and ranked 15th worst (cities in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba flesh out all the positions above it). The first Quebec city to show up is Montreal, ranked 24th, despite the fact it’s the third biggest city in Canada. Toronto is a sleepy 57th, while Peel, York and Halton regions—Toronto’s populous, sprawling suburban ring—have among the lowest crime scores in the country. So what gives?
Criminologists are divided on the question of why Central Canada sees the least amount of crime—and in particular violent crime—and why police-reported crime rates climb as you head west. One popular theory focuses on where crimes are more likely to be reported—for example, that western Canadians “have a tendency to be more law-and-order, and so therefore report more crimes,” as Mount Royal University criminologist Doug King puts it.