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72% of violent crimes cleared in Canadian cities: Report

Patrick Maloney

By Patrick Maloney, The London Free Press

(QMI Agency files)

(QMI Agency files)

LONDON, Ont. — Far fewer violent crimes are solved each year in Toronto than in several other cities included in a just-released report that compares a slew of taxpayer-funded services.

While the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative study offers comparisons, but no context, for each city's results, it shows 59% of violent crime was "cleared" in Toronto in 2012 — far below the midway point of 15 other communities involved in the study.

The median among the cities — 14 of which are in Ontario, plus Winnipeg and Calgary — is 72%.

The report notes a "violent criminal incident is considered cleared" when a "charge is laid, recommended or cleared by other methods."

Performing well above the median are Sudbury (85%), Thunder Bay (78%) and Durham Region (77%).

At the lower end near Toronto are Winnipeg (62%) and Hamilton (60%).

While the OMBI report covers 22 different municipal services — libraries, water services and trash management among them — the police numbers are likely to draw the most initial attention.

Noting a strong correlation between cities with large numbers of police officers and civilian staff and higher spending, Toronto also registers well above the median of 15 other communities in terms of total per-capita police costs.

The median is $290, while Toronto checks in at $376, though that's nowhere near the highest number. Windsor spends a$463 per capita for policing, while similarly sized cities London ($281) and Hamilton ($290) spend much less.

The OMBI report is based on 2012 statistics.


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