Mike Sullivan responds to muggings in Weston

Mike Sullivan, our newly elected MP, says “I am encouraged by the arrests that have been made” in relation to the recent rash of muggings in Weston. He says, too, that he will pressure the Conservative government to “invest in an approach that focuses on prevention, policing, and prosecution.”

Sullivan was responding to an email I sent to politicians and police. He says that he, and the NDP, will

  1. Ensure communities have the resources to invest in crime prevention programs, particularly those focusing on youth.
  2. Provide parents, teachers and police with better tools to protect our children and deter gang activity by making gang recruiting illegal.
  3. Ensure that our police have sufficient resources to do their jobs in our neighbourhoods.

Sullivan was also quite clear that he does not believe that building more jails, as the Conservatives propose to do, will be the “best and most effective approach to [combatting] crime in our neighbourhoods.

Local thug rearrested

Akiel Eubank, a local thug who was acquitted of the murder of a child last year, has been rearrested for dealing crack cocaine. He allegedly sold it to an undercover cop.

Eubank, 24, was found not guilty of the murder of Ephraim Brown, 11, who was killed in a shootout in the Jane Finch neighbourhood. Eubank has previously been arrested for beating and stabbing a man at the defunct Mario Bros bar at Weston and Lawrence, for assaulting a police officer, and for “numerous violent, drug and property crime offences … assault, theft, uttering threats and a weapons-related charge.”

Eubank has now been charged with “trafficking cocaine, possessing the proceeds of crime, possessing crack for the purpose of trafficking and possessing marijuana.” The gang he was a member of, the “Five Point Generalz” has been broken up, according to police.

TAVIS Barbecue Tonight, June 16, 2011.

There will be a barbecue tonight from 5 – 7 pm hosted by 12 Division TAVIS initiative officers and Councillor Frances Nunziata. This is to let the community know that an additional 32 police officers have been made available during the summer for street patrol in the Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue area. Check out the PDF version of the poster here.

12 Division to expand.

As readers may know, Toronto is divided up into police jurisdictions called divisions. These divisions are numbered (rather than named) in a way that seems rather counter-intuitive—but that’s another story. There is a proposal to change the boundary of 12 Division so that Weston will be contained entirely in this division rather than split between 12 and 31 Divisions.

The northern border of 12 Division will move north from its current location of Lawrence up to Highway 401. According to insidetoronto.com, Scott Gilbert, project overseer, is confident that the proposed change will be implemented. If this is the case, we can only hope it will lead to more coordinated and successful policing in Weston.

Toronto Crime Down Year-Over-Year; Some Concerns For Weston

In spite of media giving the impression that crime is on the rise in the city, official statistics are painting an interesting picture of crime in the two police divisions that Weston sits astride.

12 Division Neighbourhoods
31 Division Neighbourhoods

Weston south of Lawrence falls into 12 Division; above Lawrence, Weston sits in 31 Division.

Looking at crime indicators year to date, crime is down overall throughout the city of Toronto. Robberies and assaults are down slightly while auto theft and theft over $5000 are down by about 16% compared to last year at this time.

In 12 and 31 divisions, the numbers are slightly different. Because Weston sits in two large police divisions it is difficult to  know the specific crimes that happen in our neighbourhood.

12 Division Crime Indicators
31 Division Crime Indicators

Assault and Break and Enter

The charts show that in 12 Division, assault and break and enter are higher while everything else is lower. Conversely, Break and enter crimes are considerably lower in 31 Division while robberies have increased.

What we can learn from this is unclear. While we can take comfort from a lowering of crime across the city, we should be alert to any upward tendencies such as can be seen here.

The perception and the reality of crime are two different things. These figures from Toronto Police help us understand that.

All charts from http://www.torontopolice.on.ca