December 31, 2005

Root Causes, Astute Analysis, Crime Stats, Anonymous Comment, Location & Elephants

Addressing "Root Causes" & Astute Analysis

With appreciation to all those like Donato {above} and (below) who have the wit and creative ability to make such fun cartoons and astute analyses. We should all be so talented.

The best of a Celtic New Year to all ...

Call in the army, pastor pleads -- "We have had this scenario of killings all summer," said Pastor Allan Bowen, of the Abundant Life Assembly on Dixon Rd." in Etobicoke Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun, Dec. 28, 05

There were several links to other articles--list included here only to indicate how much this is affecting Toronto citizens:

Feud grew into battle
Mourner: 'We have lost one of our children'
Murder rate holding - but gun crimes shoot up
Hunt to heat up
Shoppers scared off Yonge St.
Pols promise to act
Youths want more than talk
We've heard lots of talk from politicians about violent crime, but where's the action? Criminals need to fear consequences

The perpetrators? Who do you think they are? What is their business? Guess. Compliments of the leftist/socialist/soft-on-crime system. You may vote for more of the same in January.

Incidentally, why do you think FHTR gets visitors from Vietnam, Burma, Colombia, the Philippines, and a few other areas of similar 'business' interest? I don't think it is for the philosophy and certainly not for the recipe links. Just colour me cynical ... which might be a raging purple.

Anonymous & Crime Stats

An anonymous commenter wrote, taking me to task for something I posted on crime. The comments are at this link:


"Guns, Drugs and Crime: Canada's Violent Crime Rate a Shock!"

Lott referred to Canadian statistics on crime from John Lott and, among other things, anonymous said.

the rate of 963 in Canada incorporates 8 different types of crime, while the 475 only incorporates 5. Also, Canada defines "violent crime" differently from the US.

I wish the person had written more about how Canada computes crime statistics compared to the US. He/she sounds as though s/he has knowledge of the situation, perhaps works within the system. I don't have a problem with anyone drawing these things to my attention. I am simply a very ordinary Canadian exploring because I know there is something wrong that violent gun crime appears to have risen in Canada. Anyway, I looked further. Some of what I found is below. The crime problem is more and more related to drugs; however, note how the system handles criminals, whether charged or something else. Does this not also affect the statistics?

The original article from John Lott--links inserted:

Canada Blames US -- Gun-control folly here, up north, across the pond... John R. Lott Jr. Aug. 19, 05.

If you have a problem, it's often easier to blame someone else rather than deal with it. And with Canada's murder rate rising 12 percent last year and a recent rash of murders by gangs in Toronto and other cities, it's understandable that Canadian politicians want a scapegoat. That at least was the strategy Canada's premiers took when they met last Thursday with the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, and spent much of their time blaming their crime problems on guns smuggled in from the United States.

Of course, there is a minor problem with the attacks on the U.S. Canadians really don't know what the facts are, and the reason is simple: Despite billions of dollars spent on the Canada's gun-registration program and the program's inability to solve crime, the government does not know how many crime-guns were seized in Canada, let alone where those guns came from. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported in late July that they "cannot know if [the guns] were traceable or where they might have been traced." Thus, even if smuggled guns were an important problem, the Canadian government doesn't know if it is worse now than in the past.

Even in Toronto, which keeps loose track of these numbers, Paul Culver, a senior Toronto Crown Attorney, claims that guns from the U.S. are a "small part" of the problem.

There is another more serious difficulty: You don't have to live next to the United States to see how hard it is to stop criminals from getting guns. The easy part is getting law-abiding citizens to disarm; the hard part is getting the guns from criminals. Drug gangs that are firing guns in places like Toronto seem to have little trouble getting the drugs that they sell and it should not be surprising that they can get the weapons they need as well. [. . . . ]

Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murders and other violent crimes.

Many things affect crime: The rise of drug-gang violence in Canada and Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. (Few Canadians appreciate that 70 percent of American murders take place in just 3.5 percent of our counties, and that a large percentage of those are drug-gang related.) Just as these gangs can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.

With Canada's reported violent-crime rate of 963 per 100,000 in 2003, a rate about twice the U.S.'s (which is 475), Canada's politicians are understandably nervous.

While it is always easier to blame another for your problems, the solution to crime is often homegrown.

The Canadian report on crime statistics to which Lott referred:

I have excerpted what I see as pertinent.

2004 statistics

Canada's crime rate, based on data reported by police services, fell a marginal 1% last year. While the total violent crime rate declined, the national homicide rate increased 12%.

[. . . ] 2.6 million offences in 2004, resulting in a crime rate that was 12% lower than a decade ago. [Is this because crime has fallen or because it is unreported, unrecorded, recorded differently, not considered a crime or a serious crime any more? ]

. . . 5% decrease in Ontario, whose crime rate was the lowest in the country for the second year in a row. Most of this decline was due to large decreases in reported crime in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and St. Catharines–Niagara.

Prince Edward Island. . . decline. . . . Saskatchewan's crime rate, which experienced the largest increase of any province over the past decade, fell slightly in 2004. New Brunswick reported the largest increase, up 3%.

Violent crime down but homicide rate up

In total, about 300,000 violent crimes ... majority ... common assault. .... 35% higher than 20 years ago.

Canada's homicide rate rose 12% in 2004 after hitting a 36-year low the year before. Police reported 622 victims of homicide, 73 more than last year. Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec accounted for most of this increase. The rate of 1.9 homicides for every 100,000 population was 5% lower than it was 10 years earlier.

[. . . . ]

The highest homicide rates were in the territories and western Canada. Provincially, Manitoba reported the highest rate (4.3) followed by Saskatchewan (3.9). The lowest rates were reported in Atlantic Canada.

Among the nine largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs), Winnipeg had the highest homicide rate, followed by Edmonton and Vancouver. Quebec and Ottawa. . . lowest rates.

Among the 18 smaller CMAs, Regina, Abbotsford and Saskatoon recorded the highest rates. [. . . . ]

[chart here ]

Robberies with a firearm continue to decline

The rate of robbery incidents fell 4% ... Police reported more than 27,000 robberies, half of which were committed without a weapon .... robberies committed with a firearm...down 3% .... The remaining 35% of robberies were committed with other weapons such as knives.

Despite a national decline in robbery incidents, the Atlantic provinces experienced significant increases in 2004, ranging from 19% in Nova Scotia to almost 100% in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, robbery rates in the Atlantic provinces continue to be below the national rate.

About 41% of all robberies occurred in commercial establishments, including 16% in convenience stores or gas stations and 5% in banks. The next most common locations were streets/sidewalks (30%), private residences (8%) parking lots (6%) and open areas (5%).

Property crime resumes downward trend

Police reported nearly 1.3 million property crimes last year. ....generally been decreasing .... exception ... increase in 2003.

The rate of break-ins fell 4% to just under 275,000 and was 36% lower than a decade ago. More than one-half (56%) of break-ins were committed in residences, about one-third (31%) in businesses and the remaining 13% occurred in other areas such as garden sheds and schools.

[. . . ] break-in rates, [. . . ] Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest increase in break-in rates, up 16%.

Police reported nearly 170,000 stolen motor vehicles last year. The rate of vehicle theft fell 4%, and it has declined in all but two years since peaking in 1996.

Cars...half of all vehicle thefts while trucks, including vans and sport utility vehicles, ... 34%. The rate of stolen cars dropped 4%, while truck thefts fell 2%.

Ontario (-12%) and British Columbia (-6%) reported the largest declines in vehicle thefts, while Newfoundland and Labrador (+52%), Nova Scotia (+24%) and Manitoba (+23%) recorded the largest increases. Manitoba continued to have the highest rate among the provinces, primarily due to the high rate of thefts in Winnipeg.


After large back-to-back increases in 2002 and 2003, the rate of growth in police-reported counterfeiting incidents slowed to 14%. In 2004, counterfeiting accounted for 6% of all criminal incidents, four times the proportion of only five years earlier. According to the Bank of Canada, $10 and $20 bills accounted for 87% of all counterfeit notes last year. [Is it possible the technology is allowing the expansion of this type of crime and that it has continued to increase? Or has this type of crime been slowed considerably? ]

Drug incidents resume upward trend

The rate of drug incidents increased 11% last year, following a 7% decline in 2003. Of the almost 100,000 drug incidents known to police in 2004, half were for possessing cannabis. The rate of cannabis possession incidents increased 15%.

Cannabis cultivation, otherwise known as marijuana grow operations, has more than doubled over the past decade, from 3,400 incidents in 1994 to more than 8,000 incidents last year. The rate of cocaine-related incidents increased by 17% in 2004, numbering nearly 17,000.

Youth crime down

About 78,000 youth aged 12 to 17 were charged with a Criminal Code offence last year, while a further 101,000 were cleared by means other than laying a formal charge. [ If they are not charged ... the statistics? ]

Combined, this represents a 4% decline in the overall youth crime rate — a 6% drop in youths charged and a 2% drop in youths cleared by other means. The youth crime rate had generally been increasing between 1999 and 2003.

The rate of violent crime among youth fell by 2%. ... stable, except for a large increase in 2000. Most categories of youth violent crime declined, including a 30% decrease in the youth homicide rate and a 2% drop in robbery.

The youth property crime rate fell 8%. The majority of property offences declined, including an 11% drop in the motor vehicle theft rate and an 8% decline in the rate of break-ins. [Have these actually declined or are people not reporting as they would have in the past?]

Available on CANSIM: tables 252-0013 and 252-0014.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3302.
[. . . . ]

Note on webpage:
This report is based on an annual Juristat released today by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS).

Data on incidents that come to the attention of the police are captured and forwarded to the CCJS via the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) survey according to a nationally-approved set of common scoring rules, categories and definitions.

Is that the same system as was subject to hackers?

Hacker cracks police force network
RCMP, OPP and Toronto service may be among victims
Thieves raid database favoured by law enforcement agencies
link posted on FHTR, Dec. 28, 05

Location, Location, Location & the Elephants in the Room


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