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Mapping crime stats could provide answers December 13, 2008

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in Calismalar (Studies), English, Haber (News).
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A city committee struck to identify why youth crime statistics have soared and what can be done to reduce the phenomenon is looking for assistance from the Innovation Centre.

It wants council to approve an expenditure of just under $30,000 to have the GIS division compile and map three years worth of relevant data to better understand the local problem.

“Our youth crime rate is high and its concerning me,” said Ward 3 Coun. Bryan Hayes, who penned the motion. “We need to understand what’s happening and why.”

Hayes believes that once the crime data is compiled and the services offered are plotted, gaps in services are going to be identified.

He wants to determine who best could deliver those services and at what cost, as well as develop and implement a plan and lobby effort that would see those holes plugged.

In October, council received a report that showed youth crime in 2007 increased by 28.9 per cent over the prior year.

It was pointed out that the statistics don’t indicate that 28 per cent of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are committing crimes; the number of crimes committed — and solved by police — are usually multiple crimes by fewer individuals.

Hayes said he wanted to try to determine where the problem is and see if there are solutions to combat the problem.

The Council Committee on Youth Crime and Violence was established at his insistence and he believes the next step is to map three years of statistics and solicit input from the social services sector on the charted results.

The police statistics show that 946 youth committed crimes in 2006 and that number increased to 1,219 youths in 2007.

The statistics showed the Sault Ste. Marie numbers are also significantly higher than averages reported in other Northern Ontario municipalities.

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