Attempted murders down 54.5 per cent year-to-date
CBC News Posted: Sep 28, 2017 5:00 AM CT Last Updated: Sep 28, 2017 5:00 AM CT
Despite an overall year-to-date reduction in crime — including a significant reduction in attempted murders — Regina's police Chief Evan Bray says the city can't afford to let up on its efforts to reduce crime.
"We can't, as a community, as a police service, as individuals, take our foot off the gas pedal," the chief said.
He was responding to questions regarding monthly crime statistics for August tabled at a board of police commissioners meeting Wednesday.
The police service reports a 54.5 per cent year-to-date decrease in attempted murders. Bray said his force has had operational success in taking guns off the streets and closing cases against offenders, and was quick to point to work being done by local service providers.
'We can't, as a community, as a police service, as individuals, take our foot off the gas pedal.' - Evan Bray, Chief of Regina police
"Preventative, early-intervention service delivery and support systems really can make a difference in terms of outcomes," he said.
He said improvements to the overall mental health of communities is directly related to reductions in crime.
Sex crimes also saw a decrease, with reported sexual assaults down about 11 per cent and all other sexual crimes down nearly 33 per cent.
"When our crimes against the person are decreasing right now in the double-digits, that's very positive," the chief said.
The ability of the Regina police to cite significant decreases in violent crimes is timely, as Regina was shown, once again, to have the highest crime rate in the country for 2016, according to a Statistics Canada report released this summer.
Crime with 'domestic overtone' on the rise
However, not all crimes against the person are on the decline. Kidnapping and forcible confinement crimes rose nearly 67 per cent, year-to-date.
While that percentage change reflects an increase of only four crimes (up to 10 from six), Bray said these types of crimes often have a "domestic overtone" to them, which is indicative of a "big problem" with domestic violence in Regina.
"We need to come together and deal with it," he said.
He added that domestic violence manifests itself across an array of crimes and sometimes isn't even represented in statistics because many cases of abuse, such as mental abuse, aren't the focus of a criminal charge.
Police to launch new domestic violence initiative
In the next month, the Regina Police Service will be publicly launching a "whole new approach" to how it handles domestic violence, including a "resource and a web page," to try to help victims, Bray said.
The approach will look at not only addressing current situations of domestic violence but "dig into it a bit deeper" in the interest of preventing future violence, he said.
Overall, the report shows crime in the city is down 3.8 per cent, year-to-date.