Halton’s Crime Rate lowest since 1974; Drops 10.4% in 2011. Chief says low crime is a community achievement.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON February 23, 2012   An historic bench mark in public safety was achieved by the Halton Regional Police in 2011 with the lowest crime rate since regionalization in 1974.

Specifically, there were 1,259 fewer criminal offences reported in Halton in 2011 (13,678) as compared to 2010 (14,937), according to the Halton Regional Police Service’s year-end crime statistics which were presented at today’s Police Services Board meeting.

When Regional population growth is taken into account, this represents a significant 10.4% decrease in the overall crime rate since last year – and the lowest rate in 37 years.

 

Chief of police reports lowest crime statistics since the force was regionalized in 1974. Now he can retire, which he will do in June.

“When a community that is already as safe as Halton sees this kind of significant decline in criminal offences, it speaks volumes about how effectively everyone, including the police, the public, our community partners, and the media are working together for public safety,” said Chief Gary Crowell.

In more good news for home and business owners, Halton’s property crime rate dropped by 13.0%, with 10,025 offences committed in 2011. Crimes in this category include theft, breaking and entering, mischief, counterfeit currency, arson, fraud and the possession of stolen goods.

The breakdown of types of crimes committed remained virtually identical to previous years, with property related crimes comprising 73.3% of all criminal offences committed in the region; violent crime such as robbery, assault and homicide equalling 18.8%; and other crime such as prostitution and offensive weapons representing 7.9%.

One trend Chief Crowell is not pleased to see in the Region is an increase in motor vehicle collisions. Despite a 19% increase in traffic enforcement by police, motor vehicle collision totals were still 10.1% higher in 2011 compared to 2010 (up from 7,649 to 8,425).  Property damage collisions were up 10.5% and injury collisions were up 8.2% year over year. Of most concern, the number of fatal collisions increased from 13 in 2010 to 15 in 2011.

“As police, we are doing everything we can by using a combined approach of enforcement, education and engineering to improve traffic safety, however far too many people are still being injured or killed on our roads,” said Chief Crowell.

“There is no question distracted drivers, impaired drivers and aggressive drivers are posing a serious risk to themselves and others. I cannot say it any more clearly: motorists must slow down, focus on the road, and do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of any substance which could impair response or judgment.”

Crime rate is the number of offences committed per 100,000 people.  Statistics Canada and police use crime rate measurements to give the most accurate comparison of criminal activity between communities with different populations, and within a single community over different time periods.

The statistics paint a very satisfactory picture for a police chief heading into retirement.  Chief Crowley will turn in his badge and his weapon in  June .

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