It's Crime Prevention Week in Ontario. Every November, community agencies, organizations, police departments, municipalities and citizens come together to raise awareness of crime prevention as a builidng block for creating vibrant, dynamic, safe and healthy communities. "Engaged communities are safer communities" is this year's theme! We couldn't agree more!
Fulfilling an election promise, the Government of Canada recently introduced the “Safe Streets and Communities Act” or Bill C-10. If passed, Bill C-10 would significantly amend the Canadian Criminal Code and related legislation. C-10 is an omnibus bill that includes nine pieces of proposed legislation covering changes from mandatory minimum sentences to tougher penalties for selected crimes.
On the heels of the July 21st Statistics Canada report on crime statistics for 2010, several media outlets ran editorials over the past few days asking a similar question: If crime has been on a downward trend since 1973, why is the ‘tough of crime’ agenda so popular? These editorials appeared as music to our 'smart on crime' ears; because asking tough questions about evidence based practice is the smart thing to do!
Does watching real-life crime stories increase your fear of crime or do you watch real life crime stories because you are afraid of crime? This question remains after reading Watching the Detectives: Crime programming, fear of crime, and attitudes about the criminal justice system.
The ongoing conversation about crime, data, fear of crime, and the combination of all three, has always been a matter of much public debate.