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 Philippe Gohier - Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 10:17 AM - 1 Comment
Murder rate in this bedroom community is 365 per cent above the national average
The problem: Port Coquitlam, B.C., a bedroom community less than an hour outside Vancouver that’s home to about 60,000 people, has the highest murder rate in Canada. At 365 per cent over the national average, Port Coquitlam’s homicide rate is far above Edmonton’s, which comes in second at 133 per cent above the national average. It’s worth noting, too, that Port Coquitlam’s five murders in 2007 don’t include those committed by Robert Pickton, Port Coquitlam’s most notorious pig farmer and one of Canada’s most infamous serial killers.
What’s being done to deal with it: According to data compiled by Statistics Canada, Port Coquitlam’s 929 residents per police officer represented the second-highest ratio in British Columbia for a city of its size in 2007. (At 967 residents per police officer, the North Vancouver District edged it out of the top spot.) By 2008, that ratio had grown to 1,067 residents to police officers, though it still trailed North Vancouver’s 1,082. “This isn’t something that we should grow to live with or be comfortable with,” Port Coquitlam Councillor Brad West told Coquitlam Now. “It’s unacceptable to me, and I think it’s going to be unacceptable to our residents.” A spike in gang violence in the Vancouver area has already prompted nearby Coquitlam to commit an extra $700,000 in its budget to hire six more Mounties and Port Coquitlam is expected to follow suit and hire three more mounties later this year.
By Ken MacQueen - Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 7:00 AM - 1,076 Comments
Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Regina have the meanest streets. See where your city ranks.
First, the good news. For the second year in a row, Caledon, Ont., 40 km northwest of Toronto and a world away, ranks as the safest city in Maclean’s annual crime ranking of Canada’s 100 largest cities. Its crime score is 87 per cent below the national average. If not for a single murder, it would put even more distance between itself and its nearest rivals, Oromocto, N.B., a scenic, riverfront community near Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, and Lévis, Que., a prosperous civil service enclave across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City.
Quebec’s capital, incidentally, is another safe haven. Its crime score for the six offences tracked in the Maclean’s index (murder, robbery, aggravated assault, sexual assault, breaking and entering, and auto theft) ranked 40 per cent below the national average in 2007, the last year for which Statistics Canada data are available. Even more impressive for a city of 535,000, it recorded not a single homicide that year—by far the largest of 34 cities that were murder-free.