By PAM DOUGLAS
Special to Focus
One day after Statistics Canada released 2011 data indicating crime reported to police in Canada has been on the decline for years, Peel Regional Police Service released its own data— which shows crime in Brampton and Mississauga is also on the decline.
Criminal offences reported to Peel Regional Police have dropped to a five-year low of 39,410 last year from 46,379 in 2007, according to the 2011 Annual Performance Report released by police Wednesday. The 2011 statistic is down from 40,651 in 2010.
Property crimes always account for the largest number of criminal offences— last year there were 25,856, down from 26,820 the year before. Crimes against persons were up slightly, with 7,809 reported in 2011 compared to 7,868 the year prior.
And drug offences were up slightly, too, with 4,244 compared to 4,147 in 2010.
Statistics Canada revealed Tuesday that fewer crimes were reported in Canada in 2011 than at any other time in the last 40 years.
In Brampton’s two police divisions— 22 Division, which roughly covers everything west of Hwy. 410, and 21 Division, which encompasses Bramalea and the Malton area of Mississauga— there were 12,423 property crimes (including break-ins, thefts, frauds, arsons and mischief). That was 388 fewer compared to 2010, when 12,811 property crimes were reported in those two division.
In the “crimes against persons” category of the annual statistical report, those two divisions saw a total of 4,287 crimes reported, including homicides, attempted murders, sexual assaults, assaults, robberies, uttering threats and threatening phone calls. That was 109 fewer compared to 2010 when 4,396 crimes against persons were reported.
In the violent crime category, reports of robberies were down (37 fewer) compared to 2010, but sex assault reports were up (22 more). Overall, business break-ins were down (91 fewer), along with drops in the number of frauds and car thefts, but residential break-ins were up (111 more).
Brampton saw six murders last year, double the unusual low of three in 2010, but on par with the city’s annual average over the years. Murders in Brampton peaked with an all-time high of 10 in 2008— a year that also saw Mississauga’s murder rate spike— before dropping to eight in 2009.
There were 269 more drug-related offences recorded in 2011 (2,255) in the two Brampton divisions compared to 2010 (1,986), with less cocaine and more heroin turning up.
Other statistics for the two Brampton divisions combined, with the 2010 numbers in brackets, include:
• 263 sexual assaults (up from 241);
• 75 assaulting a police officer (down 1 from 76);
• 5 attempted murders (down from 10);
• 6 murders (up from 3);
• 659 robberies (down from 696);
• 270 robberies with weapons (down from 292);
• 2,029 residential and business break-ins (up from 2,009);
• 6,439 thefts (up from 6,292);
• 794 impaired driving charges (up from 611);
• 2,255 drug occurrences (up from 1,986).
As for region-wide statistics, both property and persons crime rates (incidents per 100,000 population) in Brampton and Mississauga combined dropped in 2011.
The property crime rate in Brampton and Mississauga combined dropped by 4.8 per cent, while the rate of crimes against persons dropped by 1.9 per cent, according to the report.
In Brampton and Mississauga combined, the population rose 1.2 per cent to 1.25 million from 1.24 million in 2010.
The total number of reportable motor vehicle collisions increased (up 1,658 or 9.5 per cent to 19,102) in Brampton and Mississauga combined, due to the increase in property damage collisions (up 1,789 or 12.3 per cent to 16,279).
The number of speeding charges laid increased (up 4,267 or 14.4 per cent) to 33,946 from 29,679 in 2010.
The RIDE program in both cities combined stopped fewer vehicles in 2011 (down 18,414 or 34.1 per cent to 2,844), but resulted in more charges (up 212 or 100 per cent) and suspension (up 132 or 46.8 per cent).
Requests for assistance handled by police in Brampton and Mississauga combined increased by 927 (10.2 per cent) to 10,025 from 9,098 in 2010.
The total number of incidents increased .1 per cent (289) to 231,147 from 230,858 in 2010, due primarily to an increase in Priority E calls— those requiring immediate response— (up 3,471 or 6.7 per cent), and Priority 1 calls (up 1,205 or 7.2 per cent).
The number of emergency calls to 911 increased 14.7 per cent (up 51,827) to 405,576 from 353,749 in 2010.
The entire statistical report is online at www.peelpolice.on.ca
By PAM DOUGLAS