Crimestat 2009 Wrap Up

Crimestat Numbers – 2009 Wrap Up↑ 

In July of 2009 the Winnipeg Police Service Crimestat site showed a year to date reduction of 18% for the crime categories tracked by Crimestat compared to the same period in 2008. 

That number has now slipped to 11%. 

As indicated in the original post the overall reduction in crime numbers is driven by a decrease in the number of actual and attempted auto thefts.    

When the auto theft numbers were removed from the equation, the July numbers showed an overall increase of 6% in the other crime categories being tracked.  By year end that  number has now doubled to 12%.     

The upward trend is still driven by an increase in the number of residential break-ins (+11% January to July, +20 % January to December) and non-commercial robberies (+38% January to July, +38% January to December).  

Those percentages don’t really drive home the reality which is:  in 2009, 487 more people had their houses broken into.  As well, 409 more people in Winnipeg were mugged in 2009 than in 2008. 

This leads to the inevitable question:  why?  Setting aside auto theft and attempts, why are crimes in 6 of the 8 other categories of crime tracked by Crimestat higher in 2009 than in 2008?  Is Crimestat a flawed system? Is it an approach that works in other cities but not in Winnipeg?  Are the tried and true principles first introduced by William Bratton and his team in New York City in the mid -1990’s no longer relevant?  

A subsequent post will review the 4 principles that form the basis of the Crimestat approach and attempt to answer these questions and, in particular, the question, Is Crimestat broken?