Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stop the presses : Unreported crime up 3% over 5 years

Whenever he's faced with StatsCan reports showing a decrease in the crime rate, including the violent crime rate over the last decade, Public Safety Minister Vic lock-'em-up Toews always attempts to refute the evidence by claiming that the unreported crime rate is going up.
And that is presumably why we have to build more prisons to house all the unreported criminals.
I know, I know, but just bear with me for a moment.

On Steve Paikin's The Agenda this week, Toews stated :

"Quite frankly Canadians don't care what the crime rate is"

and went on to produce stats on his unreported crime meme :

"From 2004 to 2009, instead of 34% of crimes being reported to police, only 31% were. So what we are seeing is a gradual decline in confidence in the justice system."
Holy crap! A 3% increase in unreported crime over 5 years.

Toews also explains that "an apples to apples comparison of Canadian victimization surveys with American victimization surveys is the proper standard to use" and recommends everyone read the Vancouver Board of Trade Victimization Survey, which he says shows an increase in unreported crime.

Did that already actually, Vic, and blogged about it back in 2007. While applauding the addition of spousal violence to the survey, I'm not convinced we need more prison spaces to deal with other survey questions such as whether the questionnaire respondent has received unwanted emails or had a window or fence broken.

To Toews' claims of public safety being the Cons first priority, Paikin asks why then did the Cons scuttle their own crime bills by proroguing parliament?
Toews :

"Essentially as a result of prorogation we were able to reconstitute the committees in the Senate which would allow us to get the criminal bills through.

We're right on track with our agenda and now we don't have to worry about the unelected Senate impeding the will of the House of Commons."

[cough]Climate bill[cough]

Indeed, yesterday the Senate voted to make possession of 6 pot plants subject to a mandatory prison sentence.

But guess what, Vic, unreported crime (click the video viewer on the right at the link) is indeed getting a massive increased airing this week.


Beijing York said...

Vancouver Board of Trade gathers crime statistics? Do Chambers of Commerce across the country do similar?

No wonder Toews and the rest of the Harper clowns don't need no reliable StatsCan data when the business community is already on the job [/sarcasm].

Kim said...

"So what we are seeing is a gradual decline in confidence in the justice system."

So, people have learned to be more afraid of police and the answer to the problem is put more people in jail? Not making sense, a proud Neo-Con tradition.

Alison said...

BJ : Sorry, I wasn't clear. The Board of Trade doesn't gather its own stats; they use the ones from StatsCan's General Social Survey, a random phone poll of 25,000 Canadians over the age of 15 conducted every five years. It includes questions on crimes not reported to police and this is where Toews and Doris' unreported crime stats come from.
The same unreported crime stats are available from StatsCan obviously, where they designate crimes as either "police reported" or not police reported, so there's no particular reason to go to the Vancouver Board of Trade for them.
When Paikin asked Toews where he got his stats, Toews said StatsCan

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce wants StatsCan to do the GSS yearly, instead of just every five years and ask more crime questions. They put out frequent Crime Briefing Notes like this :
"U.S. Getting Better – Fast
Violent crime in the U.S. declined by one third between 1999 and
2004. Violent crime in Canada did not decline significantly.
Crime has dropped in the U.S. because of more police; tougher sentencing; less drug tolerance and demographic factors."

Kim : Notable that in 2004, the #1 reason people gave on the General Social Survey for not reporting a crime was that they didn't believe it was serious enough - see examples at link post. 2% said they feared retribution and 1% said they felt the police may be biased.
That was 5 years ago; it may have changed since.

Rick said...

There is sometimes no point in reporting a crime to Police as you become a second time victim by the Police wanting to know the last time you relieved yourself or as in the case when my Bro found a Molotov cocktail when area barns were being torched by an arsonist. Neither the Abbotsford Police nor the Mission RCMP were interested in checking it out so I can see why there is a lot of people not bothering to waste their time reporting anything to Police.

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