Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

EdCase
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Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by EdCase »

Some candidates are making much of Kelowna's crime problem. While there is no cause for complacency, Supt. McKinnon's report shows good progress is being made across the board in reducing crime rates:

http://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/117195358.html

Modern politicians really understand how to use the FUD Factor (fear, uncertainty & doubt) to stir up emotions against their rivals; so when you hear comments about crime consider carefully that these may be coming from the Hang'm High brigade, playing on your emotions rather than looking at the facts.
Last edited by EdCase on Oct 30th, 2011, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Crime in Kelowna

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I appreciate any discussion that informs with facts and evidence. That news story is from March and I'd like to point out that robberies, assaults, sexual offences, and homicides are all up since last year for the months of June and July (latest RCMP report to council) http://www.city.kelowna.bc.ca/CityPage/ ... 202011.pdf. Considering that Kelowna has one of the lowest ratios of police officers per 100,000 people, I support properly funding our police for more officers. I don't base this support out of fear, but out of a recognition that Kelowna has a high crime rate and that we have one the fewest levels of police officers per population.

I acknowledge crime fluctuates but Kelowna has had a high crime rate and continues to have a high crime rate. In 2008 Kelowna was ranked fifth in homicides among urban centres across Canada, in 2010 Statistics Canada ranked us as the 4th most crime ridden. We need more police and resources, public safety must be our city's first priority.
EdCase
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Re: Crime in Kelowna

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ScottRoss wrote:I appreciate any discussion that informs with facts and evidence. That news story is from March and I'd like to point out that robberies, assaults, sexual offences, and homicides are all up since last year for the months of June and July (latest RCMP report to council) http://www.city.kelowna.bc.ca/CityPage/ ... 202011.pdf. Considering that Kelowna has one of the lowest ratios of police officers per 100,000 people, I support properly funding our police for more officers. I don't base this support out of fear, but out of a recognition that Kelowna has a high crime rate and that we have one the fewest levels of police officers per population.

I acknowledge crime fluctuates but Kelowna has had a high crime rate and continues to have a high crime rate. In 2008 Kelowna was ranked fifth in homicides among urban centres across Canada, in 2010 Statistics Canada ranked us as the 4th highest crime ridden. We need more police and resources, public safety must be our city's first priority.


Scott - you are hereby found guilty of using the FUD factor and sentenced to losing my vote!

You appreciate a discussion with facts and evidence, yet provide none on what our 'high crime rate' is on a relative per capita basis and how this is changing relative to similar communities? You are quick to point out the categories that have increased, in most cases marginally, without mentioning that the categories affecting most ordinary citizens - property crimes - are mostly down significantly. This selective use of statistics to pray on peoples fears is the very essence of FUD: a statement like "...public safety must be our city's first priority" implies that currently it is not.

Crime prevention and deterrence are important in any community: it's a question of finding the right balance between the two. For example, the ICBC bait car program has had a significant impact in deterring auto theft. Neighbourhood Watch and Crime Stoppers are good programs to help citizens participate in reducing crime.

I was clear that there is no room for complacency on this issue but I do object to the use of FUD which is all too prevalent in today's politics.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

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Ed I appreciate the discussion, I stand by my position to support more officers.

Per capita is the method of comparison used by Statistics Canada, I did not choose it, I do believe it is the most optimal method for comparing crime statistics.

As I included a link to the most recent RCMP report which contained all the pertinent information, I do not agree with the claim I selectively chose data.

In our province the average number of police per 100,000 is 200 officers, in Kelowna we have 125 per 100,000 (http://www.vitalsignscanada.ca/rpt2011/II-4.pdf). I have acknowledged crime fluctuates but Statistics Canada has continually recorded high crime rates for our city and recent local reports show crime is still a major problem. For these two reasons I believe Kelowna needs more police.
EdCase
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by EdCase »

I like the StatsCan report of crime severity indices as it gives weight to the seriousness of the crimes committed. In this report Kelowna is 4th highest in Canada on the Total Crime Severity (113.1) with a reduction of 7% from 2009 to 2010; and 10th highest on the Violent Crime Severity Index (95.9) with an 8% drop.

These figures are nothing to be proud of but it has to be said we are in good company with most other Western cities where crime is significantly worse than our Eastern counterparts. Maybe it's our frontier heritage?

It's interesting to look at the numbers for Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo where there severity scores (68.0 / 69.8) are way lower then ours. It would be interesting to know why this is. They do have 148 police per capita so that could be a factor, but I also wonder if it has something to do with their economy. The KCW area is home to well-paying jobs in the automotive and high-tech sectors: their young people do not have to leave the community and do not resort to crime. They do not have the transient youth population we have to deal with. I have spent some time in this area and am impressed with a strong sense of pride in and respect for their community, its traditions and its residents.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

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I think that frontier comment is more on the nose than most realize and has more depth than any news story on the subject on possible causes or factors for differences in crime rates.

The western social mentality is more individualistic than out east, and I think that lack of social reliance and integration is a cause for higher crime rates among other differences. In eastern Canada, the region enjoyed a headstart in time and population and was able to develop a culture that fostered socialization and a sense of community that was perpetuated it in its institutions.

On the otherhand out west the gold rush, pioneering, and farming only perpetuated individualism, strengthened or only made worse by government policies that recruited and rewarded those from Europe that were willing to take a risk in a new land in return for a farm plot and farming equipment. Those government policies were only incentives for those with strong individualistic beliefs and only enhanced that frontier culture.

Of course one could write a book on the subject and with such a complicated issue with many factors it is hard to prove that the west's pioneering history is still affecting us today, but I do believe it is in our culture (I believe senate reform is one manifestation of this) and no matter how small its influence, it's existence enough has powerful reprocussions.

I realize this is not a post speaking about policy or our city, but I hope candidates are allowed to still have interesting discussions.
EdCase
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by EdCase »

ScottRoss wrote:I realize this is not a post speaking about policy or our city, but I hope candidates are allowed to still have interesting discussions.


Good discussion is always to be encouraged. It often leads to new ideas and solutions. Heaven forbid that we fall into the trap of group think that is so prevalent today.
WhatThe

Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by WhatThe »

I would sooner spend money on mental health budgets and drug treatment and rehab and prevent a serious amount of crime in the first place. It is researched fact that funding these two options has a dramatic affect on recidivism and crime.
More police is not always the answer, recognising the fallibility and nature of humans is.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

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WhatThe, just so there is no misinterpretation I do not think more police is the only option to be relied upon. I agree with you and I believe Kelowna's Restorative Justice Program is one ofthe many other options that we must use to decrease recidivism. I do maintain we need more police officers, not to be the only solution but to be a part of it.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by ScottRoss »

A new RCMP report to be presented in today's council meeting: http://www.kelowna.ca/CityPage/Docs/PDFs%5C%5CCouncil%5CMeetings%5CCouncil%20Meetings%202011%5C2011%2D10%2D31%5CItem%203%2E01%20%2D%20Bi%2DMonthly%20Policing%20Report%2Epdf

Some crimes have increased and some have decreased, for me, another two months of increased homicides, sexual offences and assaults is distressing. I acknowledge other crime has gone down, and it is a credit to our justice and social systems, but with one of the lowest ratios of police to population I really believe one part of our strategy must include more police.
EdCase
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by EdCase »

ScottRoss wrote:A new RCMP report to be presented in today's council meeting: http://www.kelowna.ca/CityPage/Docs/PDFs%5C%5CCouncil%5CMeetings%5CCouncil%20Meetings%202011%5C2011%2D10%2D31%5CItem%203%2E01%20%2D%20Bi%2DMonthly%20Policing%20Report%2Epdf

Some crimes have increased and some have decreased, for me, another two months of increased homicides, sexual offences and assaults is distressing. I acknowledge other crime has gone down, and it is a credit to our justice and social systems, but with one of the lowest ratios of police to population I really believe one part of our strategy must include more police.


Not disagreeing with you Scott but I'd like to hear from McKinnon about more effective use of the resources we have. My RCMP member friends tell me of the crippling amount of time they spend on paperwork, administrative duties and court appearances for trivial traffic offences. Not all these problems can be solved by the city, but we need to raise these concerns before punting more money at them.

Crime prevention & deterrence is a complex systemic issue and just throwing money at the problem can lead us into a system archetype known as 'Fixes That Fail'; we alleviate the symptom in the short-term, not the underlying problem. The trouble is that today's politicians are looking for simplistic, voter-appealing solutions and are unwilling to take the risk of proposing longer-term, real solutions.
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Re: Crime in Kelowna & the FUD Factor

Post by Ub2 »

That's right Ed; let's not spend any time on enforcing any traffic violations if they're just that trivial.

I too know a couple of members and they don't complain of excessive paper work and court appearances as you have noted. What does frustrate them is that they're short staffed and cannot attend to all complaints that come in or violations that they see. Many of the laws are written so poorly that they are too easily challenged in court, which wastes everybody's time and money. This has got to change. I say rewrite some of these laws and give us more cops. If my taxes have to go up to accommodate ... so be it.

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