01 January 2011

Breaking from that boring ol' tradition...

...of celebrating the first New Year baby...
happy new year toronto

Barely two hours into 2011, as celebrations were winding down in the city’s Entertainment District, the deadly altercation erupted in the area of Queen St. W. and Portland St., Toronto Police say.

UPDATE: Arrest made in homicide #1
Toronto Police have charged 27-year-old Toronto resident Luke Heath with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of Brian Takahashi, the city’s first homicide of 2011.

"This actually represents a per capita DROP in the homicide rate."
Yes, Mike... I'm sure the families of the folks who were attacked will take comfort from your observation...
The murder victim’s name was not immediately released. But friends and family identified him as Brian Takahashi, 20, of Campbellville, a village west of Milton.

New Year’s Eve also saw a man shot in the ankle just south of the murder scene on King St. W. And 24 hours before the slaying an 18-year-old man was stabbed at Peter and Adelaide Sts.

RELATED: Lies, damned lies & statistics
lies, damn lies & statistics
In 1962, there were slightly more than 200 violent crimes committed per 100,000 population. In 2007, that number spiked to 930 violent crimes per 100,000 population. In other words, we are a much more violent society today than we were in recent history.


syncrodox said...

Meh. Here in Calgary we beat that by a full hour and a half.


The good news in this case is that it was a shooting so solving the crime should be a snap once they check the gun registry.

Anyways Neo...All the best in the new year!

Neo Conservative said...

yup... apparently, these days... any large metropolis in canada can be a contender...

In Calgary, two men were shot downtown early Saturday. “One party has now passed away,” Staff.-Sgt. Steve French, of 14 Division, confirmed on New Year’s Day.

In Edmonton, cops were called around 3 a.m. to The Papyrus Restaurant and Lounge at 11124 107 Ave., where a man was slain.

not nearly as exciting as some places, mind you.

happy new year to you & yours, sync.


Mike Brock said...

Except of course, murders in Toronto are down year-over-year:

2002: 62
2003: 66 +4
2004: 64 -2
2005: 80 +16
2006: 69 -11
2007: 84 +15
2008: 70 -14
2009: 62 -8
2010: 60 -2

Basically we are having the same number of murders in Toronto that we had a decade ago. And if you consider that the population has increased significantly in the past decade by around 300,000-400,000 people, this actually represents a per capita DROP in the homicide rate.

The situation clearly points to a deteriorating situation...

Sorry if I broke the narrative.

Neo Conservative said...

broke the narrative, mike?

five people every month meet a violent end at the hands of fellow citizens... and you find that, what... acceptable... no biggie?

let's also bear in mind that there are hundreds of people every year who are saved by the als medics and the dedicated trauma team at sunnybrook hospital. every als unit in the city has been specially equipped with chest tubes in response to the number of gunshot wounds. that's the reason the numbers are holding... not the allegedly peaceable nature of torontonians.

fwiw... the number of violent crimes (guns, knives) by younger offenders has been steadily spiralling upwards.

not sure that, "we're not nearly as bad as chicago" is something you want to be braying from the rooftops.

or, we could try the liberal party solution... all we have to do is start taking long guns off farmers, hunters & skeet shooters and those big city murders will drop to zero.

what's 2 billion dollars between friends, huh?


Mike Brock said...

"five people every month meet a violent end at the hands of fellow citizens... and you find that, what... acceptable... no biggie?"

No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, that the attitude that "as long as there are murders happening, we need more police, tougher sentences, and more jails" -- which is the conservative approach -- doesn't seem to have much going for it, empirically speaking.

The "liberal" approach, that conservatives refer to, seems to be a moral statement. That, by not cracking down harder, is to say, that you somehow morally approve of violent crime. Or, that you somehow care about murderers more than victims.

Now I'm not a "liberal" by your definition. I am a libertarian. And I'm just as suspicious of conservative calls for more policing and jailing as I am of left-wing calls for more social programs.

Policing and jailing are social programs. They just happen to be ones that conservatives never think society have enough of.

That said, almost every study that has ever been done on the subject, shows that countries with more "liberal" justice systems have consistently lower crime rates and recidivism rates.

The US, which Canadian conservatives look at as a model of policing and sentencing, has both substantially higher offence and recidivism rates than Canada.

The trend plays out in Europe, too. Italy, Spain, and Portugal which have far more aggressive policing and sentencing, also have higher crime rates and recidivism rates,

So clearly, the answer cannot simply be, "be more like them".

I've come to the conclusion that, for conservatives, the goal is actually not crime reduction, in any practical sense, it's a moral imperative to punish criminals. All other considerations secondary.

This tends to come at the cost of general reductions in liberty for law abiding people, as conservatives tend to favour laws that make it easier to trample over people's rights in the name of catching criminals. It also comes in the form of higher costs as prison sentences are lengthened, and more and more prisons have to be build. And it also seems to come in the form of no appreciable reduction in crime.

I'm no bleeding heart. As a libertarian, the right to life is my highest ideal. However, if you're going to ask for more police, less liberty, higher costs, you better have a damned better reason than just the moral imperative to punish.

Mike Brock said...

As for your added comments on the front page. I never dispute that crime is up since the early 1960s.

But it's disingenuous to claim that crime is rising now.

Violent crime rates peaked in the early 1990s, and have been falling steadily ever since.

Neo Conservative said...

"mike says... the conservative approach -- doesn't seem to have much going for it, empirically speaking."

except, of course... for removing violent thugs from the larger field of folk, huh?

what exactly would a libertarian do with a willie picton, or a russell williams?

maybe send them out for counselling?

let's ask, i dunno... statistics canada...

"Some types of violent crimes increased, including attempted murders, extortion, firearms offences and criminal harassment."

But hey, don't you fret...

"Youth crime fell slightly in 2009."

Again... there's one small caveat...

"However, both the youth crime rate and the severity of such offences are about 10 per cent higher than a decade earlier."

And finally...

There were 806 attempted murders, 85 more than in 2008.

Feeling safer yet?

mike also says...

"countries with more 'liberal' justice systems have consistently lower crime rates and recidivism rates."

source? and pls, pls, pls don't tell me you saw it on the cbc.


Mr. Enns said...

Do you have another source for that Corbella column? The Sun doesn't recognize it.

Anonymous said...

In 1962 murders still were hanged.
Post 62 no more hangings.


Neo Conservative said...

pete... there you go.


Mike Brock said...

Neo Conservative,

I already conceded that on the basis of 1960s levels, crime is higher today. I'm not sure what you're arguing now.

The studies on the correlations between harsher sentencing and crime rates are many.

The UK and Canada, for instance, have much lighter sentencing for various crimes than the United States. And based on the conservative theories of crime reduction, the US should, in turn have lower crime rates than Canada. But this is not the case.

The US also has far more police per capita than Canada. Almost double as many police per person, actually.

Canada has 1.7 police per capita. The US has 2.8 police per capita.

Yet, the US hardly seems to be a safer country. The US also has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

In fact, the US has the 24th highest violent crime rate in the world: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

Which puts the US almost at the top of developed countries in terms of violent crime. Yet, conservatives in Canada believe we need to move to a more US-style justice system to fight crime here.

The question is: why?

If the US system is superior to what we're doing now, then why doesn't Canada have much higher crime than the US?

I think this is the question conservatives in Canada need to answer before demanding that Canada beef up policing, jailing and sentencing.

Most conservatives seem to think in such one-dimensional terms on the issue: if you are harsher on violent criminals, then OBVIOUSLY the harsher criminals are off the street, then OBVIOUSLY crime will go down.

Except, of course, as any economist will tell you, there are externalities involved in almost all human behaviour. Does locking more men up, for longer, increase the proportion of fatherless homes? Does that increase the chance the children will become criminals?

Those are the questions that conservatives don't ask. They simply say: lock them up, faster, longer, and execute them!

Neo Conservative said...

but mike... we don't keep bad people in jail in canada. hell... we don't even call it jail, anymore... presumably to avoid hurting the convict's... er, client's feelings.

think karla homolka.

and pls, pls, pls... don't get me started on the young offenders act... the highlight of which is a virtual pass on murder if you're under an arbitrary age.

let's face it... to get jail time in canada... you really have to work at it.

and there are horrendous consequences to the larger field of folk.

here's an example you might be familiar with...

"clifford olson was first arrested in 1957 at the age of 17 for breaking and entering... at age 42 he was imprisoned for life for the brutal rape & murder of 11 children. in the 24 years in between, he had been in jail for 21 years. but he escaped 7 times. by the time he was caught for what we hope is the last ime, he had 94 convictions. he was convicted of 20 crimes while onparole, including armed robbery, theft, breaking & entering, buggery, indecent assault, forgery, fraud, escape, possession of firearms & drunk driving. olsen never received more than a 3 year sentence. At no time was he ever labelled a habitual or dangeros offender. he was given supervised parole 76 times and full parole twice."
source: what's wrong with canada... still by william d. gairdner

so, no more bullshit about a kinder, gentler "corrections system", please.

let's put bad people in jail and keep them there. let's bring back the death penalty for clifford olson, willie picton, paul bernardo, russell williams & their ilk.

see mike... i'm thinkin'... we don't know whether getting tough on crime will work in canada... because we haven't tried it yet.

we've been trying it your way... and it's a disaster. what say we try doing it my way for a while?


Neo Conservative said...

update: help me out here, mike.

correct me if i'm wrong... but your thesis seems to be that we should take it easier on those poor criminals.

tell me, where in the world can you get three years probation... for armed robbery?