NEWS

Canada’s Drop in Crime Attributed to Holistic Crime Prevention Strategies

By Carlton Purvis

 

Crime in Canada is at its lowest in 40 years according to a report published by Statscan on Thursday. Crimes reported dropped five percent and severity of crime dropped six percent reaching its lowest rate since law enforcement began measuring severity in 1998. Decreases were reported in homicide, attempted murder, assaults, and robbery. British Columbia and Regina, Saskatchewan are benchmarks showing continued progress by Canadian law enforcement.

There were 544 homicides in Canada in 2010, down from 600 in 2009. The national decline can be attributed to a decrease in homicides in British Columbia, according to Statscan. The rate of homicides is higher than the national average but at an all time low for the province.

For the last 20 years Canada’s crime rate has been on the decline and is now at it’s lowest level since 1973, the report states. Violent crimes are down – the Crime Severity Index dropped to its lowest point since 1998.

Historically, Regina has had the highest crime rates in Canada in both occurrences and severity. But even Regina has seen a reduction in crime rates Regina Police Service (RPS) spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich told Security Management on Thursday. Regina’s crime rated dropped eight percent from 2009 to 2010, making the crime rate the lowest since 1991. In fact, it is leading the charge; that rate was more than twice the reduction for the whole country, according to materials distributed at a press conference Thursday.

“Probably the most impressive of collaborative initiatives has been the Regina Auto Theft Strategy, started in 2001,” Popowich said. The strategy is a collaboration between Regina Police Service, the ministries of provincial government responsible for youth corrections, the Ministry of Justice, and community-based groups.

In Regina, crime prevention programs focus on changing the behavior of both offenders and potential victims. Using this holistic approach, RPS reduced vehicle theft in Regina 72 percent in 10 years, for example.

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