As the pandemic has worn on (and on and on) concerns from residents about the levels of crime seem to be increasing. I see it on our social media pages and I hear people talk about it in the restaurant and hallways in the centre too. Well, it doesn’t just seem that way, crime has indeed increased and it’s adapted with the times.
According to the last statistical report from CPS, entitled 3rd Quarter 2021 Statistical Report, because people were in their homes more often during the pandemic restrictions, opportunities for certain crimes in the city, like residential break and enters or vehicles theft, were reduced, and as restrictions were lifted violent crime increased. Makes sense in an anecdotal sort of way, right?
Certainly, if you were watching the news, you would have seen some fairly recent stories about a suspicious death in Thorncliffe, as well as the vandalization of City property, like the destruction of bus shelter glass on so many local thoroughfares. As a transit user, I can tell you I have been griping about those bus shelters for months. Incidentally (or not), the glass in the shelters was replaced on Centre St. and 4 St NW not too long after a story about it appeared in the news.
If you are interested in learning more about crime in our area, there’s a page on the City site, Community Crime and Disorder Map, with tools that you can use to view crime stats month over month. The data is collected by CPS and updated by the 10th of every month for the previous month. Crime is put into two categories: disorder and crime, which are defined above the map in a dropdown window.
Below is an example of the info I found for Thorncliffe and Greenview. It’s broken out into types of crimes, and you can see all of the areas in the city in a sort of heat map. As you can see, Thorncliffe and Greenview are on the very high side for crime in the city.
Thorncliffe Crime Stats, December 2021
Greenview Crime Stats, December 2021
Have a look at the Community Crime and Disorder Map here. It’s not too hard to navigate and there are other links to more info and other tools too.
The TGCA board has a working relationship with our area CPS representative, Constable Lower, and we’ve set up an email for residents to report crime to in addition to reporting it to CPS. These reports to the TGCA board will help us understand the bigger picture when it comes to our resident’s concerns and that info will be passed on to Constable Lower.
More info on that here.
Using data to gain some perspective on the world around you can turn up some interesting results, but interpreting the data is another challenge in itself. You might find you like sifting through but keep in mind that the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Statistics should serve as just one of many tools we use to understand the ongoing story of each community.