February 2012 Crime Data

February 2012 Crime Statistics for Winnipeg (for crimes tracked by Crimestat)


Crime Type Year-to-Date Comparison Selected Filter Comparison
Jan 1, 2012
To
Feb 29, 2012
Jan 1, 2011
To
Feb 28, 2011
% Change Feb 1, 2012
To
Feb 29, 2012
Feb 1, 2011
To
Feb 28, 2011
% Change
 Break & Enters – Commercial
148 102 45% 65 51 27%
 Break & Enters – Other
125 106 18% 41 45 -9%
 Break & Enters – Residential
327 345 -5% 152 190 -20%
 Homicide
5 7 -29% 3 4 -25%
 Robbery – Commercial/Financial
61 50 22% 42 12 250%
 Robbery – Non-Commercial/Financial
227 181 25% 101 84 20%
 Sexual Assault
23 27 -15% 12 9 33%
 Shooting
12 3 300% 6 1 500%
 Theft Motor Vehicle – Actual
187 254 -26% 113 110 3%
 Theft Motor Vehicle – Attempt Only
122 198 -38% 76 84 -10%
Total 1,237 1,273 -3% 611 590 4%

Source:  Winnipeg Police Crimestat website

Highlights

1.  City wide crime (for crimes tracked by Crimestat) for the first 2 months of the year is down 3%.

2.  The month of February however saw a 4% increase in crime.

3.  Auto theft was up 3% in February.

4.  Residential break-ins are down but commercial break-in are rising.

5.  Robberies are on the increase (commercial robberies up 250% in February).

6.  Dramatic percentage increase in the number of shootings although the actual numbers are still small.

Caution:  The rise (though modest) in the number of auto thefts is a concern.  After years of declines this is the first reversal I recall.  Steps should be taken to address this.

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January 2012 Crime Data

January 2012 Crime Statistics for Winnipeg  (for crimes tracked by Crimestat)

Crime Type Year-to-Date Comparison Selected Filter Comparison
Jan 1, 2012
To
Feb 4, 2012
Jan 1, 2011
To
Feb 4, 2011
% Change Jan 1, 2012
To
Jan 31, 2012
Jan 1, 2011
To
Jan 31, 2011
% Change
 Break & Enters – Commercial
85 63 35% 79 51 55%
 Break & Enters – Other
83 62 34% 81 61 33%
 Break & Enters – Residential
186 188 -1% 167 155 8%
 Homicide
1 3 -67% 1 3 -67%
 Robbery – Commercial/Financial
22 39 -44% 19 38 -50%
 Robbery – Non-Commercial/Financial
131 110 19% 122 97 26%
 Sexual Assault
11 18 -39% 10 18 -44%
 Shooting
6 2 200% 6 2 200%
 Theft Motor Vehicle – Actual
85 161 -47% 72 144 -50%
 Theft Motor Vehicle – Attempt Only
49 129 -62% 46 114 -60%
Total 659 775 -15% 603 683 -12%

Source:  Winnipeg Police Crimestat Website

Highlights

1.  City wide crime (for crimes tracked by Crimest) is down 12%.  Districts 2, 3 and the East District  show reductions, Districts 1 and 6 show increases.

2.  The Auto Theft Strategy (perhaps the only true evidence based initiative the WPS is using) continues to show impressive results in terms of crime reduction.

3.  When the auto theft category (actual and attempt)  is removed,  crime (for crimes tracked by Crimestat) is up 14% city-wide.

2.  Muggings are up 26%.

3.  Commercial robberies are down 50%.

4.  All three categories of break-ins are up between 8 and 55%.

The 2011 Holiday Check Stop Program

Are Police providing an accurate interpretation?  
When I read the headline “Peggers choosing safety and sobriety, police say“,  I thought to myself, that is good news.  The article went on to say, “Winnipeggers appear to be getting the message about drinking and driving, the Winnipeg Police Service said Monday, after releasing the numbers from its 2011 festive-season Check Stop campaign.”
Lets have a look at those numbers and see if there is a reason to rejoice.
Table 1  compares the 2010 Check Stop numbers to those of 2011:
Table 1

2010

2011

Vehicles stopped

2470

1900

Drivers Charged

98

57

Percentage of Drivers Charged

4%

3%

This is good, yes?   Well it is and it isn’t.   Of all the drivers stopped in 2010, 4% were charged.  That number went down by 1 % to 3% in 2011.    The real issue is, why is it that with substantial increases in resources in 2011, only 1,900 drivers were stopped in 2011?  I suggest it’s a matter of priorities.  Stopping 2,470 drivers as was done in 2010 would have required more resources – resources the Winnipeg Police Service was not prepared to dedicate to this cause.

With a charge rate of 3% of all drivers stopped, had the police stopped 2470 drivers in 2011 as they did in 2010 the number of drivers charged  would have been in the range of 74.  That’s 17 more impaired drivers off the road during a very short span of time.

To get a more complete picture of impaired driving trend one needs to examine the issue over a period of years, not just a period of weeks.

Table 2 depicts the data between 2000 and 2010 for impaired driving and refusal to provide a breath sample for Winnipeg.  The table highlights the following:

1.  The number of drivers who refuse to provide a sample of their breath has decreased dramatically since 2000;

2.  There was a significant decrease in the number of impaired drivers arrested from 2000 to 2006;

3.  The arrest numbers were essentially static in 2007 and 2008;

4.  In both 2009 and 2010 impaired driving arrest numbers rose 11%.

Table 2

Refusals

Impaired

Total

Change +/-  *

2000

178

1080

1258

2001

59

957

1016

-21%

2002

40

761

801

-21%

2003

37

729

766

-4%

2004

42

679

721

-6%

2005

11

565

576

-20%

2006

9

470

479

-17%

2007

9

476

485

+1%

2008

14

462

476

-2%

2009

1

526

527

+11%

2010**

8

577

585

+11%

Data obtained from 2000-2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Reports
* percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number
** The 2010 numbers shown are based on the 2010 Annual Report which has been withdrawn and will be reissued.
Before being able to say with any certainty that Winnipeggers are getting the message about drinking and driving, we need first to see a reversal of the upward trend in 2009 and 2010.  The limited data from the most recent Check Stop program does not warrant such a conclusion.
When the Winnipeg Police Service releases its 2011 Annual Report (hopefully before December 28th,  2012) we will have a better idea as to whether  Winnipeggers are indeed getting the message.  If the upward trend experienced in 2009 and 2010 continues, then obviously the claim by the Winnipeg Police Service is not supported by the evidence.

Flaws in the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report- Part V

Winnipeg Police to issue an amended 2010 Annual Report

It wasn’t my intention at the outset that there would be this many parts to my original post on the flaws in the Winnipeg Police 2010 Annual Report ….. but as they say in policing, you go where the evidence takes you.

In response to the number of errors discovered in the 2010 Annual Report, the Winnipeg Police Service has announced that it will be reissuing the report (see press release below).  The question remains, however, how is it that the high-priced help at the Winnipeg Police Service did not spot these errors?  One can only conclude that due diligence, although promised, is not always delivered.

Until the amended report is issued the question of whether crime in Winnipeg went up or down in 2010, and by how much, remains unanswered.

  Thursday, January 12, 2012

WINNIPEG POLICE SERVICE 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ERRORS IDENTIFIED, AMENDMENT PENDING
The Winnipeg Police Service 2010 Annual Report was made available to the public on December 28th, 2011. Following its release a statistical error come to light that will result in the Service releasing an amended version of our 2010 Annual Report.
The amendments will require a change to the Criminal Code Offences by Month Chart and the Total Criminal Code Offences Chart. Once this work is completed, we will update the charts in question, add footnotes in our Annual Report to clearly explain the changes and advise the public when the updated Report is available.
Background:
This year, effort was undertaken to ensure the manner in which we report statistics is consistent with Statistics Canada reporting through its Police Reported Crime Statistics in Canada 2010 Report.
In 2009, Statistics Canada had amended some of its reported crime categories. This impacts on how we report crime statistics as well.
As a result, the Service introduced a new “Not District Specific” category for reported crimes.
Crimes that appear under this column may include incidents where the crimes occurred over multiple districts. This category also includes incidents where a division, location or area was not identified due to data entry error or would be classified as “City at Large” incidents.  An example of such a City at Large incident would be a stolen license plate.
This change ensures greater consistency between our reported numbers and the numbers reported by Statistics Canada.   
 
The creation of this category resulted in an unusually high number of Theft – Over $5,000 and Theft – $5,000 and Under being reported as “Not District Specific”.
We recently learned this may have resulted from an unidentified programming anomaly that we believe resulted from the creation of a new reporting code.
Representatives from both the Winnipeg Police Service and Statistics Canada are working to resolve this matter. We will update the public as soon as this matter is resolved.
Percentage Change Errors
 
The Total and Grand Total data that initially appeared in the 2010 Annual Report reflected a month-to-month percentage change. The pending revision will show the correct year-over-year percentage change calculations.
We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

For further information contact either: 
Constable Natalie Aitken, Public Information Officer
Constable Jason Michalyshen, Public Information Officer

Office: (204)986-3061
Fax: (204) 986-3267
Email: WPS-PIO@Winnipeg.ca 
Web: 
www.winnipeg.ca/Police

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Flaws in the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report – Part IV

There are a lot of parts to this fiasco and I don’t think it’s quite finished yet.

This post presents a table that provides a 2009/2010 side by side comparison of many of the statistic categories in the Winnipeg Police Annual Report.  The table was created for informational purposes but I will comment on several of the categories.

1.  Police to Population Ratio

In the 2009 Annual Report the “authorized” police complement was used (674,800/1348) to calculate the ratio at 1:501.  The 2010 Annual  Report used the “actual” police complement (684,061/1400) with a resulting ratio of 1:488.  Had the actual complement been used in 2009 the ratio would have been 1:478 and had the authorized complement been used in 2010, the ratio would have been 1:503.

When calculating ratios that are carried forward from year to year for comparison purposes it is important to apply the same rules from year to year.  If the approach is changed a note should be attached to identify the change, and the purpose of the change.

2. Police to Staff Ratio

The Winnipeg Police Service police to staff ratio has lagged behind that of other major Canadian Police Departments for years and is an issue that needs to be addressed.  The 9% increase in 2010 seems to address the issue to a degree.  What the report does not indicate is what portion of that change reflects the addition of the new staff category of Cadets.  The addition of this new employee category should have been noted in the report.

3.  Total Crimes

No matter how you cut it, the 2010 Annual Report lists 61,680 reported crimes  compared to 56,427 in 2009.  That works out to a 9% increase according to the ‘rithmatic.  Note thus far that only the English version of the report has been released – the French version has yet to be released.

4. Persons Charged and Clearance Rate

The number of persons charged dropped from 16,525 in 2009 to 13,604 in 2010 representing a decrease of 18%.  The clearance rate, though, is shown as increasing by 1% from 24 to 25 from 2009 to 2010.  That may bear some closer examination since, generally, there is a correlation between the number of persons charged and the clearance rate .

Category

2009

2010

Variance 2009-2010   (%)

Demographics/Cost
Population

674,800

684,061

+1%

Events for Service

162,349

162,678

No change*

Police to Population Ratio

1:501

1:488

-3%

Operating Budget
Tax Supported Expenses

$181,837,268.00

$191,542,030.00

+5%

Per Capita Cost

$269.47

$280.00

+4%

STAFFING
Sworn Officers (Authorized)

1348

1361

No change*

Sworn Officers (Actual)

1411

1400

No change*

Non-sworn Staff (Authorized)

368

371

No change*

Non-Sworn Staff (Actual)

413

450

+9%

Male Officers

1213

1200

No change*

Female Officers

198

200

No change*

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES
Against Persons

10,698

10,432

-3%

Against Property

40,907

46,540

+14%

Other Crimes

4822

4708

-2%

Total Crimes

56,427

61,680

+9%

Persons Charged

16,525

13,604

-18%

Clearance Rate

24%

25%

+1%

 TRAFFIC ACT OFFENCES
Police Issued

53,245

58,600

+10%

Photo Radar

110,658

96,594

-15%

Offence Notices Total

163,903

155,194

-6%

Fatalities

13

20

+54%

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS UNIT
Criminal Files Initiated

28

25

 -11%***

Criminal Files Sustained

0

0

No change

Regulatory Files Initiated

24

24

No change*

Regulatory Files Sustained

1

2

+100%**

Data Source – Winnipeg Police Service 2009 and 2010 Annual Reports

*  no change means the variance was less than 1%

** when the numbers are small a large percentage change has limited meaning in a statistical sense

*** correction from original version of this post

For the most part this post concludes my examination of the statistical portion of the 2010 Annual Report with a caveat.  A new category “Multiple Districts” was added to the  Highway Traffic Act Offences (by District) table.   As with the other new categories introduced in the 2010 Annual Report, there is no note to describe the change.

Flaws in the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report – Part III

This post will examine the “Events for Service” statistics listed in the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report.

As the table below indicates, in 2009 there were 162,394 events.  In 2010 there were 162,678.  The difference is so marginal that in percentage terms it is correctly listed as zero.

The variances in the number of events for service in the 5 Districts are listed as between -3 and -10 percent.  This raises the question:  If the actual city-wide calls for service were essentially static then how is it possible that each District would show a reduction?

The culprit again is the new unexplained category ‘Not District Specific” introduced in 2010.  This category which consists of 7748 events when added to the 2010 District numbers produces a variance of zero as opposed to the listed 3 to 10 per cent decrease.  Again, another error.

2009

2010

Variance shown in 2010 Annual Report

District 1

45,483

43,756

-4%

District 2

17,443

15,641

-10%

District 3

40,106

38,349

-4%

East District

36,106

35,197

-3%

District 6

23,256

21987

-5%

Non District Specific

did not exist in 2009

7748

Total City Wide

162,394

162,678

0%

Data Source:  2009 and 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Reports

Based on the response I have received to these recent postings, there is significant interest in what will hopefully be a response in the near future from the Winnipeg Police Service as to why the “Not District Specific” category was introduced, or what it represents.

Flaws in the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report – Part II

Dealing with the 9549 crimes listed as “Not District Specific”. 

In the previous post I discussed some of the major issues with the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report.  They included the addition of two new statistical categories: one in the “Criminal Code by District  Table (Not District Specific)”, and in the “Criminal Code Offences by Month Table (Undertermined)” – small matter that the latter word is misspelled in the report.  As it turns out, the most glaring aspect of the report is in the math: crunch the city-wide crime numbers  as they are shown and compare 2010 to 2009 and you will come up with a 9 percent increase in crime as opposed to the 7 percent decrease that the Annual Report states.  What?!

What originally caused me to take a closer look at the numbers was the apparent disparity between the reported reduction at the district level (see column 1) .  The District numbers show reductions in the range of 20-30 percent and yet the city-wide reduction was listed as -7%.  Something’s wrong here.

The next step was to do the actual calculations using the District and city-wide data as listed in the 2009 and 2010 Annual Reports.  The results of those calculations are listed in column 2.  There is a significant disparity between the two columns – at this point I’m ready to suggest that the Police Service  pull the 2010 Annual Report off the website, scrap the whole mess and start over.

Another reason to start over:  Let’s look at the reported crimes listed under the new category of “Not District Specific”.  Without the help of an explanation, one is left to assume these are reported crimes in addition to those listed under the five Districts (when you add the numbers listed for the 5 districts and then add 9,549 from the “Not District Specific” category you arrive at 61,680 – the numbers listed in the 2010 Annual Report as the total number of crimes reported city-wide).

Although these  9549 crimes would be disproportionately distributed  (ie District 1 would have more than District 2),  for the purpose of the table below column 3 represents the percentage crime rate change if the “Not District Specific” crimes were equally distributed throughout the five districts).

Area

Column 1

As Reported*

Column 2

Actual**

Column 3

Projected***

City wide

-7

-8

+9

District 1

-20

-10

+4

District 2

-32

-14

+16

District 3

-23

-5

+10

East   District

-25

-7

+7

District 6

-26

-8

+13

*    These are the percentages as listed in the 2010 Winnipeg police Annual Report.

**  These are the percentages arrived at when you crunch the raw data in the 2009 and 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Reports excluding the 9549 offences listed under “Not District Specific”.

*** These are the percentages when you factor in the 9,549 incidents listed in the “Not District Specific ” and evenly distribute them within the 5 Districts.

At this point I am not certain if the statistical wizards within the Winnipeg Police Service did a double count of some incidents or simply out smarted themselves with the introduction of the new categories.  I suppose the only way to find out is to ask.

I sent the following email to the Winnipeg Police  Service:

I have now had the opportunity to have a quick look at portions of the 2010 Annual Report and I have a few questions:

1.  The Criminal Code Offences by District table has a new column titled “Not District Specific” added.  Why was this column created? How are offences determined to be “not district specific”?  How are not district specific offences handled in terms of plotting them on Crimestat?

2.  The temporal table also had a column added under the heading “undertermined”.  I assume this was meant to say “undetermined” . Why was this column added?  How, for example, can there be 7,707 thefts in this category?  Does the WPS not require the complainant to provide dates in terms of when the offence took place?

3.  The 2010 Annual Report shows 61,680 as being the number of total criminal code offences reported to police and shows this to be a 7% reduction over 2009.   The 2009 Annual Report showed 56,427 .  Based on those two figures how was the 7% reduction calculated?

Thank you for your help.

I’m hoping to get a response in a more timely fashion than the release of the Annual Report – almost a year after the fact.  When (or if) I receive a response I will post it because this is important enough that it demands an answer.