Canada’s crime rate fell again last year and is now at its lowest level in almost 40 years.
Crimes reported to police dropped 5 per cent in 2010. The decline spanned a wide range of offences, including the homicide rate, which fell by 10 per cent to a level not seen since 1966.
“Homicide is one of the few types of violent crime that almost invariably comes to the attention of police and, as such, is generally recognized as a country’s barometer of violence,” Statistics Canada said in a report released Thursday.
In addition, an index measuring the severity of crimes fell 6 per cent from 2009, reaching its lowest point since it was introduced in 1998.
The national crime rate, which has been falling steadily for the past 20 years, is now at its lowest level since 1973, Statscan said.
Because, unlike sexual assault or theft under/over or other crimes, which may be differently defined or reported, a homicide pretty well entails a dead person and dead people are hard to ignore or redefine.
There is much more uniform reporting of murder stats across jurisdictions, which is why they're preferred for international comparisons.
Here's the StatsCan report. Just about every sort of crime -- including youth crime -- is down markedly.
So what did the Stooopid on Crime Cons have to say? Here's Justice spokesthingy:
"We don't use these statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals," said spokeswoman Pamela Stephens.
But this report is throwing a spaniard into ConCrime plans:
"From the government's perspective, crime going down is probably an embarrassment," said Anthony Doob, a criminologist at the University of Toronto. "For the rest of us, it's probably a nice thing to have less crime in our community."
Doob said crime rates and punishment policy are not linked.
"The one thing we know with any kind of certainty is that (a falling crime rate) doesn't have much to do with policies related to punishment," said Doob. "Sending more people to prison may reduce the likelihood that they're committing offences while they're in prison but, if anything, it increases the likelihood that they'll commit offences after they've been released."
Why can' we have nice, productive, progressive evidence-based policies? Why, when we know the facts, know what works and what doesn't, do we ignore all that and behave stupidly? Why do we let stupid people run things?
Of all the lying, fear-mongering, venality, and just plain meanness on the civic stage at the moment, what most distresses me is the WILLFUL IGNORANCE.
We need to make courage politically desirable. Not only tell the truth, but act on it.