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TBPS clearance rate above national average amid rising call volumes: Report

Incident Date: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 12:00
Location: 
Thunder Bay
Date Published: 2017-09-14

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Despite an increase in call volumes, city police are clearing more cases than the average service in Ontario and Canada.

Statistics Canada data shows the weighted clearance rate of the Thunder Bay Police Service reached 47 per cent in 2016, above the 41.7 per cent provincial average and 38.5 per cent national average. The local service’s clearance rate for violent crimes in 2016 was nearly 69 per cent, above the nearly 62 per cent average recorded for Ontario and Canada.

“It is nice to see, as a police service, that we are above the provincial and national average in terms of finding resolution and bringing people to justice,” said A/Chief Sylvie Hauth.

Clearance rates were among several topics discussed at a Thunder Bay Police Service Board meeting earlier this week during a presentation of the 2016 Thunder Bay Police Service Annual Report. That report can be found in its entirety here.

A clearance rate is determined by the number of cases closed resolved by a police service. Several circumstances can lead to a cleared case, but most often it’s the result of a charge being laid. 

The clearance rates come amid a rise in call volumes. The police service received 47,907 calls for service in 2016, above the 43,153 in 2015 and 44,652 in 2014. 

With more than three months left in the year, A/Chief Hauth suspects 2017 numbers may closely match those of 2016.

“The last thing we want to see obviously is (violent crime case) numbers that high or rising,” A/ Chief Hauth said. “But I think it speaks often to the realities of how these crimes come to be. We’re dealing with a lot of socio-economic issues.”

A/Chief Hauth added that these realities highlight the importance of the police service working with its community partners to create positive change to help “resolve issues before they become a statistic or a crime.”   

A police service is responsible for more than just law enforcement. Chris Adams, Thunder Bay Police Service Director of Communications and Technology, said local police are also responsible for helping people and keeping the community safe. 

“I think those clearance rates reflect that, but we really can’t lose sight of the work volume that’s being done,” Adams said. 

“The service is taxed and our members are taxed. Certainly, our hats go off to them for keeping those clearance rates high, but there is a price. The human impact on our members is always a concern.”

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