Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spec Article on Violent Crime Decreasing in Hamilton

The Spec had an interesting article today on decreasing violent crime in Hamilton:

"Hamilton's downtown core and west end have seen the sharpest decline in violent crimes over the past three years, according to a comprehensive new analysis of the city's crime statistics.
However, drug crimes in the city showed a startling increase of nearly 40 per cent between 2009 and 2012. In the Hamilton Police Service's Division 1, which covers the lower city from Sherman Avenue to the boundary with Dundas, the number of drug crimes jumped 75 per cent — from 485 to 850.
Violent crimes in Division 1, including incidents such as homicides, assaults, robberies, stabbings and sexual assaults, fell by almost a quarter from 2009 to 2012. There were 2,084 violent crimes in Division 1 during 2012 compared to 2,693 in 2009.
Violent crimes dropped by 22 per cent between 2009 and 2012 in Division 3 — which covers the Mountain, Ancaster, Dundas and Flamborough — and declined by nearly 12 per cent in Division 2, which covers east Hamilton and Stoney Creek."

I'm not surprised that violent crime is down (due to demographics) but I am surprised by the amount in just three years. Police chief Glenn De Caire would doubtlessly argue that all the decrease is due to his department and would cite the ACTION team and the mounted unit. However considering where that the ACTION team as far as I understand it is deployed, Division 1 mainly and maybe some in Division 2 and the fact that violent crime fell pretty much the same in Division 1 and ACTIONless Division 3, I'm guessing that it is demographics and not the expensive ACTION team that's responsible for the drop. Of course De Caire is the type of police officer that is going to demand more officers whether crime goes up, down or stays exactly the same.

Drug crimes I'm not as concerned about, mainly because the police could always make more busts if they so desire, especially for marijuana, but it is harder for them to conjure up murder raps. If marijuana were legalized a lot of those drug crimes would disappear, although I'm sure the police budget would stay the same.

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