Halton has Canada’s Lowest Crime Severity Index

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Halton has Canada’s Lowest Crime Severity Index
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Stephen Tanner

Stephen Tanner

Chief of Police S.J. (Steve) Tanner was born in Oakville, Ontario, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Guelph before entering the policing profession as a member of the Halton Regional Police Service in the fall of 1982. He became Halton's Chief of Police in 2012, and in the same year he was appointed by the Governor General of Canada as an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

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The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) announces that Halton Region has maintained its position of having the lowest Crime Severity Index of all Canadian municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more for the 13th ​straight year, according to Statistics Canada’s annual report on crime in Canada. The report, entitled, “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2017”, provides a detailed overview of crime statistics as reported by police services across the country.

Lowest Crime Severity Index Information

  1. Has maintained its position of having the lowest Crime Severity Index* of all Canadian municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more for the 13th straight year;
  2. Had the lowest Crime Severity Index (CSI) when compared to Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services;
  3. Had the lowest Violent Crime Severity Index when compared to Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services;
  4. Had the lowest Non-Violent Crime Severity Index when compared to Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services;
  5. Maintained the lowest values for each of these three indices for ten straight reporting years (2008 – 2017) when compared to Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services;
  6. Had the lowest overall crime rate, violent crime rate, and property crime rate among Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services; and
  7. Had the highest Weighted Clearance Rate* (51.7 per cent) of the same ‘Big 12’ and has maintained the lowest value for this index for four straight years (2014 – 2017).

This is clearly a testament to the work of our frontline officers and staff and to the support of the residents we serve. It is these partnerships and relationships coupled with our ongoing commitment to our Community Safety and Well-Being Plan that will keep Halton at the forefront of policing and as a leader in public safety in the years that lay ahead.

In addition to the members of our Service who make it possible, is the fact that since 2014 we have had the highest Clearance Rate based on the Crime Severity Index. Distilled down, this means that our officers (frontline and investigators) are consistently solving serious crimes. One of the most effective methods of crime prevention is enforcement, and will continue to put those responsible for our most serious crimes before our courts and into our corrections system.

As an organization we are committed to crime reduction and prevention and to investing in the proper resources and community supports to keep our region the very safest it can be.

Crime Severity Index Background

Each year, Statistics Canada reports on the number and type of criminal incidents coming to the attention of police. To facilitate comparisons among geographic areas as well as over time, police-reported crime has traditionally been expressed as a rate per 100,000 population.

The traditional “crime rate” provides information on the number of police-reported incidents that have occurred for a given population, but does not give information on the overall seriousness of crimes reported by police. For this reason, the Crime Severity Index (CSI) was developed.

The Crime Severity Index enables Canadians to track changes in the severity of police-reported crime from year to year. It does so by taking into account not only the change in volume of a particular crime, but also the relative seriousness of that crime in comparison to other crimes.

The CSI helps answer such questions as: is the crime coming to the attention of police more or less serious than before; and, is police-reported crime in a given city or province more or less serious than in Canada overall?

About Weighted Clearance Rate

The Weighted Clearance Rate is the proportion of reported crimes solved by police, factoring in the seriousness of individual offences. Weighted clearance rate is based on the same principles as the Police Reported Crime Severity Index (CSI), whereby more serious offences are assigned a higher ‘weight’ than less serious offences. For example, the clearing of homicides, robberies or break and enters would represent a greater contribution to the overall weighted clearance rate value than the clearing of minor theft, mischief or disturbing the peace.


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