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York Region is one of the safest communities in Canada, YRP report says

The recent report from Chief Jim MacSween was based on annual crime statistics between January and December 2020
2021 11 24 YRP officers stock
File photo.

A new report from York Regional Police concluded that the region is one of the safest communities in Canada, according to the national and provincial crime statistics from 2020. 

The report by Chief Jim MacSween — accepted by the Police Services Board on Nov. 24 — found that compared to other “comparable police jurisdictions” both provincially and nationally, YRP is among the lowest for the number of total crimes and crime severity. 

“Every year, York Regional Police conducts a review and analysis of police reported crime statistics released by the Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics, a division of Statistics Canada, and compiles national and provincial crime statistics rankings and crime severity index overview reports,” the report said. 

The crime data ranges from January to December 2020.

At the national level, York Region was compared with Toronto, Montreal, Peel, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Durham. While provincially they were compared with police services of Toronto, Peel, Ottawa, Durham, Halton, Waterloo, Hamilton and Niagara. 

Nationally, York Region was the second lowest for total crimes and crimes against property and third lowest for crimes against persons. Peel was ranked first for the lowest number of total crimes in all categories. 

Of the Canadian jurisdictions compared, York was ranked the lowest for violent crime severity, and was second for lowest non-violent and total crime severity. 

Provincially, York was ranked third lowest total crime and crimes against property, and fourth for crime against persons. Halton was ranked first across Ontario for the lowest number of crimes in all three categories. 

For crime severity across the province, York was ranked second for lowest severity of violent crimes and third for non-violent and total crime severity. 

However, the report noted that the rate of crime in 2020 was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, which varied by region. 

“With provincial policies in place to contain the spread of the virus, Canadians were required to stay home for longer periods of time, which significantly influenced crime patterns across the country. Each province had varying levels of restrictions in place at different times throughout 2020,” the report said. 

The YRP report also noted there are other limitations with the data like victim reporting rates, legal definitions, reporting methodology, and regional demographics. 

“Crime data from different policing jurisdictions, even standardized Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, should be compared and interpreted with caution. Crime data is not a reflection of overall police workload,” the YRP report said. 

Overall, the report concluded that “York Region is considered to be one of the safest communities in Canada and Ontario, on both traditional crime rates and crime severity index measures.” 

It said YRP would continue reviewing the annual statistics to help develop policing programs and crime prevention strategies.


 


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Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
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