Tag Archives: crime

Some More Crime Stats for Conservatives to Ignore

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The Globe has repeated an array of crime stats that I’m pretty damn sure Conservatives will ignore, all as part of an important article reminding us that there are GOOD legislators and legal minds out there.

The decision is an important one because it proves that not everyone is behind the idea of stacking yet-to-be-built prisons for the Conservative’s ‘put-everyone-in-jail-that-disagrees-with-us’ crime agenda.

For those who aren’t familiar with these important stats, here’s another exhibit for you to send to your Conservative MP … even though they could care less about the reality of the situation.

Crime has dropped to a 44-year low.  Why we’re committing so much time in the House of Commons to talk about crime, I do not understand.

Shootings:

  • 1980:  0.8 per 100,000 population
  • 2010:  0.5 per 100,000 population
  • Change:  38% decrease

Stabbings:

  • 1980:  0.56 per 100,000 population
  • 2010:  0.48 per 100,000 population
  • Change:  14% decrease

Beatings (including Conservative households):

  • 1980:  0.48 per 100,000 population
  • 2010:  0.34 per 100,000 population
  • Change:  29% decrease

And if you have a few moments this afternoon, this page also offers up an interactive map of crime in Canada, seems to show that crime is not an urban issue, but a rural challenge.

In other words, the people that voted for the Conservatives also seem to be the most prone to violence.  Of course, I don’t know this for a fact, but it would be fun to compare Conservative ridings with crime rates.

And if the hypothesis proves true, perhaps Darwinian politics will save Canada in the long run, as the Conservatives start to jail their own supporters with their ‘tough on crime’ agenda.

Serious Questions About “Citizen’s Arrest” and Canadian Policing

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I find it disturbing that the changes to the Criminal Code in Canada were put forward by Olivia Chow, the NDP MP from Trinity-Spadina.

At first glance, the legislation seems to make sense.  Olivia Chow is from an urban riding and there are hundreds of corner stores just like the one that David Chen, the man who’s now famous for making a citizen’s arrest, runs.  These people become voters and donors, both of which are critical to one’s political survival.

It seems very reasonable that if a repeat offender comes into my store, I should be able to ‘arrest’ this person and hold him on the spot.

Until what?

Until the police come?

Aren’t the police supposed to be there in the first place to help with this kind of activity?

Why aren’t they there to help out Canadian citizens in need?

And why are we re-writing the Criminal Code to give them a further excuse to not show up to a crime scene?

Here’s the REAL question that’s bugging me:  Why are we changing the rules to basically enable vigilante justice?

Now, here’s an even BIGGER question: what’s the point of paying about one-third of my property taxes to a police force that’s no longer doing the job it’s supposed to be doing?  If I’m a stupid tool of a member of the public that believes the myth of ‘smaller is better’ when it comes to public affairs, this is powder for my flint and provokes me to ‘Tea-Party Rage’ when it comes to other myths of waste and fat that exists in City Halls across the country.

And the BIGGEST question of them all:  if we’re enabling vigilante justice, aren’t we just another small step from ‘privatizing’ the enforcement of our legal rights?

This is a frightening development for those who enjoy a free and liberal Canadian environment, where people believe they can walk the streets without having to fear our ‘security’ forces (note:  no longer police forces).

And just to top it all off:  what’s truly frightening about this evolution in Canadian legal and criminal society is that this change was brought about by an NDPer.

What a shame.

WTF? Shots fired near G20 site and they get away?

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No offense intended to our finest officers in the country, most of whom seem to be in Toronto at the moment, but news comes out that someone has fired an array of shots and they don’t catch him?

Really?

We’ve just blown more than $1.2 billion (and climbing) on ‘security’ and Yosemite Sam just walks away?

WTF?

THIS IS OUT OF CONTROL.  It seems like someone has just stolen $1.2 billion from Canadian taxpayers, so I suggest a full audit of who’s getting the money.

It’s Criminal What They Say About Crime

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Last week, I read about more Conservative plans to tighten up on crime.  Again.  This time, it’s white collar crime.

What is it with these guys?  Why are they so obsessed with crime?

Don’t get me wrong:  I’m OK with locking up someone who breaks the law repeatedly or even once if it’s a harsh crime, but there are more important political issues having an impact on our economy such as … the economy or the Flu virus or a thousand other concerns.

Why is it that crime always seems to trump other more important problems?

I also resent the idea that being opposed to a Conservative crime bill makes anyone ‘soft on crime’.

For the record:  it doesn’t.  And it shouldn’t.

It just means you have better ideas about the causes of crime and how to handle issues related to crime, including poverty, class and wage issues and general social concerns.  Incarceration is NOT the only solution and the creation of a mega-complex of holding cells is ultimately a poor use of public funds.  This has been proven time and time again in the US, the world’s largest prison state.

What bothers me most about crime issues is that the numbers are never used correctly.

All we ever hear is that crime is out of control.

But let’s look at some of these assertions.

Here are some facts about crime:

  • Crime rates are lower than they were 20 years ago.
  • Violent crimes have been dropping and were lower in 2007 than at any time in two decades.  The same goes for property crimes:  the recent rate is nearly 40% below that reported in 1991.
  • Violent crimes are an extremely small percent of all crimes.  The most common criminal charge (24%) is for breach of court order and probation conditions, followed by impaired driving (8.9%), common assault (7.9%), and theft (7.5%).  Charges for drug trafficking represented about 2.5% of the  total last year, sex offences just over 1% and homicide barely 0.04% of the total.
  • More than 2 out of 3 crimes are committed by white Caucasians (67.5%), 60% of whom are either Catholic or Protestant.  African-Canadians represent about 6% and Muslims about 3%.  Unfortunately, these two groups tend to get singled out as the greatest perpetrators of crime in Canada.
  • Critics claim that most crimes occur in urban areas, but the stats show that the West and North represent our ‘hot spots’ on a per-capita basis.  This is because there is no social infrastructure to support people.
  • Threatening people with longer, more harsh sentences doesn’t work.  The US has used this approach for decades and all they have is a massive tax bill that pays for private management of criminal incarceration.

Given that the average annual cost of keeping someone in jail is about $93,000, throwing more people behind bars will simply add to our tax bills as well.

Instead of ‘getting tough on crime’, Canadian politicians should be looking for ways to ‘get tough on crime causes’:  unemployment, social and class issues, prohibition on ‘soft’ drugs like marijuana, education, lack of opportunity, guns, low wages and child support.

Data Source:  London Free Press (with apologies, I couldn’t find the original article that outlined the original data and information.  If someone has a link, please post it in the comments and I’ll update the article).


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