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
Feb 29, 2012
Jan 1, 2011
Feb 28, 2011
% Change Feb 1, 2012
Feb 29, 2012
Feb 1, 2011
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%
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%
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


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.

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
Feb 4, 2012
Jan 1, 2011
Feb 4, 2011
% Change Jan 1, 2012
Jan 31, 2012
Jan 1, 2011
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%
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%
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


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 Case of the Moving Icons

A few weeks ago I looked at  the Crimestat map for the North Point Douglas community, specifically the icons representing homicides.

The next day I looked at them again and although going strictly from memory, it appeared they had moved.

That caused me to “save” a few images over a period of days just to track whether or not the position of the icons was indeed altered from one day to the next.  It turned out that the problem was Crimestat’s and not mine.

The following maps, saved on different dates, are for the North Point Douglas community.  They clearly show that the cluster of 6 homicides are not stationary.  As you will note, the icons change location from day-to-day.

Map. 1  (November 28 2011)

Map 2  (December 1st. 2011)

Map 3  (December 3rd. 2011)

This caused me to click on the Contact Us button on the Crimestat Website.  I sent them the following message on November 27th:  “I notice that the icons for the cluster of homicides in North Point Douglas change positions from day-to-day.  Why would that be?”   Having received no reply I sent a reminder on December 1st,  still no reply.

I’m assuming the City does not know the answer or surely they would have responded by now or perhaps it is of no consequence to them.  The fact is, though, the icons, like the victims they represent, should not be moving to the degree they are (i.e. almost into another community) because, otherwise, the map is not an accurate representation.

Is there anyone out there who has expertise with geospatial analysis software that could explain what is happening here?  Perhaps we can send a few hints on to the City to assist them in rectifying this problem.

Winnipeg Police Crimestat Maps Offer a Distorted View of Crime

There is a problem with the crime maps displayed on the Winnipeg Police Crimestat site.

If  you go on the site and draw up the map for District 1 (the downtown division) you get the following disclaimer:

Your filter selection returned 2060 incidents.  You are viewing the first 1000 crime incidents on your map window. Click on ‘view report ‘for complete crime incident details or refine your filter criteria further.

The Crimestat map for District 1, the downtown area for the period of January 1st  to November 25th 2011, displays only the first 1000 incidents reported in 2011 (Map 1).    Because the first 1000 incidents took place between January 1st  and June 24th 2011, a search for those dates will display the same map, the same 1000 incidents.

Map 1

Source: Winnipeg Police Crimestat (Retrieved on 11 11 27)

If you want to see a map that depicts the  crimes committed between June 25th and November 25th 2011, you will need to draw up a separate map. It will show the additional 1038 crimes not shown on the first map.  Map 2 displays those incidents.  Although the maps appear virtually identical, i.e. the crime pattern as largely unchanged,  subtle differences can be noted.

Map 2

Source: Winnipeg Police Crimestat (retrieved on 11 11 27)

In order to get a true view of crime in the downtown area you would need to be able to combine those two maps but the system does not allow that.

The same limitation applies when you request a map for any geographical area that has more than 1000 reported incidents.  When you draw up the city-wide map (8509 incidents reported between January 1st and November 25th 2011) the map only displays the first 1000 incidents.

Imagine what the maps would look like if you could see all incidents of reported crime!

Weekend Crime in the Daniel McIntyre Ward not Spillover

The City of Winnipeg is divided into 15 Electoral Wards – each represented by a city councillor.

Councillor Harvey Smith who represents the Daniel McIntyre Ward is quoted in today’s Free Press as saying the crime wave in Winnipeg this weekend spilled over into his constituency.  The Daniel McIntyre Ward which is situated within the boundaries of Police District 1 (the downtown district) is one of the smallest wards geographically but is surpassed only by the Mynarski Ward in terms of the numbers of crimes tracked by Crimestat.

The following table breaks down reported crime by electoral ward for the period from January 1st 2010 to October 29th  2011.

Ward Councillor Jan 1-Oct 29 2011 Jan 1 –Oct 29 2010 % change
Mynarski Ross Eadie 1162 1538 -24
Daniel McIntyre Harvey Smith 1137 1141 0
Point Douglas Mike Pagtakhan 951 1139 -17
Fort Rouge-Fort Garry Jenny Gerbasi 759 876 -13
St. James-Brooklands Scott Fielding 605 779 -22
Elmwood-East Kildonan Thomas Steen 597 876 -13
River Heights-Fort  Garry John  Orlikow 444 599 -26
St. Boniface Daniel Vandal 406 533 -22
St. Vital Vacant 316 537 -37
Old Kildonan Devi Sharma 269 443 -39
Transcona Russ Wyatt 256 249 +3
St. Charles Grant Nordman 249 244 +2
North Kildonan Jeff Browaty 243 368 -34
St. Norbert Justin Swandel 237 377 -37
Charleswood-Tuxedo Paula Havixbeck 167 207 -19

(source:  Winnipeg Police Crimestat)

The Daniel McIntyre Ward is one of only three wards that has not seen crime go down so far this year. One could argue that crime is not spilling into the Daniel McIntyre ward from adjoining wards but rather that crime is spilling out into adjacent wards.

Below is a crime map which depicts crimes in Daniel McIntyre Ward between Jan 1st. 2011 and Oct 29th 2011.

News flash for Councillor Smith:  What happened in Daniel McIntyre Ward this past weekend cannot be explained away as ‘spillover’.  To do so is to turn a blind eye to the realities of the crime problem that has existed in the Daniel McIntyre ward for some time now.  Nothing new here, Councillor Smith.

Crimes Committed vs Crimes Reported

The Winnipeg Police Service tracks 10 specific criminal offenses on Crimestat.

During the month of September, 2011,  Crimestat reported that  for those 10 specific crimes,  787 offences were committed, city-wide.

In  September 2011 the Winnipeg Police Service issued 26 News Releases.  In those 26 news releases, however, the Service made reference to only 10 of the 787 offences reported on Crimestat during September.

The table below shows the disparity between offences committed and offences reported on:

Crime Type Offences committed Offences  reported
Commercial Break-In 65 0
Break-In (other) 157 0
Residential Break-In 211 0
Homicide 3 3
Commercial Rrobbery 43 3
Non-Commercial Robbery 111 1
Sexual  Assault 16 1
Shooting 3 3
Auto Theft 109 0
Attempted Auto Theft 69 0
Total 787 10

It is of interest to note that the September 27th release makes reference to an arrest of a suspect  for 6 commercial robberies committed on September 16th and 17th.  Information that this robbery spree was in progress might have been of interest to merchants in the  area on the  dates when it was taking place.

This brings to mind Brian Kelcey’s recent op-ed in the Winnipeg Free Press in which he makes reference to running the City of Winnipeg on “spin”.

I suppose if the Police Service were to provide more information on muggings and sexual assaults it would become evident that the majority of those offences occurred in the downtown and the immediate north end of the city.  That would not be good for the image of the downtown which is being “spun” as safe.  During the month of September,  59 of the 111 muggings  reported city-wide were committed in District 1, which encompasses the downtown area.  The Crimestat map below shows what it looks like when these 59 offences are mapped:

Not a pretty picture and pretty difficult to spin.

When it comes to spin, George Orwell perhaps said it best, “He who controls the present controls the past, he who controls the past controls the future”.

Unpuzzling the Mayor About Downtown Safety

Air Canada recently put out a directive to staff instructing them to no longer stay in downtown Winnipeg hotels citing safety concerns.  According to media reports, our Mayor is puzzled by this move.

The Mayor,  other politicians and special interest groups with a  vested interest in the downtown, have for years been perpetuating the illusion that the downtown area of Winnipeg is a safe place.

I suppose Air Canada’s refusal to ignore the facts is what is puzzling the Mayor.

The Crimestat Maps that follow depict the 8 types of crime tracked by Crimestat for the period for October 1st 2010 and October 1st 2011.  Map 1 shows the Portage South Community, Map 2 the Central Park Community, and Map 3 the Portage Ellice Community.  The maps (and statistic tables) for those 3 downtown communities show that in the previous calendar year there were 4 homicides,  111  muggings,  and 24 *  sexual assaults.

Map 1

                                                               South Portage Community

Map 2

                                                               Central Park Community

Map 3

Portage Ellice Community

Now let’s have a look at the St. James Industrial Community, where the Ar Canada staff will be staying.  This area  had no homicides in the last year, 6 muggings and 6 sexual assaults and a smattering of other property crime.

Map 4

                                                              St. James Industrial Community

If you are still puzzled Mr. Mayor why not go for a walk with the Chief of Police to Portage Avenue and Main Street, pull your collective heads out of the clouds and look what is happening on Portage Avenue.  Alternately have a close look at Crimestat and ‘visit’ some of the neighbourhoods in the downtown and the immediate north end and ask yourself how safe you would feel to live there.  And finally, do something about it.

Stop spewing the election time propaganda that policing and the safety of Winnipeg streets is a provincial problem.  It’s not.  It’s a City of Winnipeg problem.  It’s your problem and a Winnipeg Police problem.  Do your job and provide appropriate policy direction to the Police Service and hold them accountable to address the issue of crime on the streets of Winnipeg.

*  correction to original post