As a follow-up to today’s Board of Police Commissioners' meeting, HRM Partners in Policing are releasing the 2012 first quarter crime statistics. Overall crime is down over 7 per cent when comparing the first quarter of 2012 to the same period in 2011.
Violent crime is down over ten per cent, including decreases in homicides, attempt homicide, robberies and assaults. Property crime is also down over one per cent with decreases in break and enters and thefts of motor vehicles. There were increases in theft over $5000 and theft under $5000 with the latter being influenced by thefts from motor vehicles which continues to be a problem across HRM.
There was an increase in drug incidents which is directly related to directed enforcement. Last year, as part of our efforts to address the violence in our community, we realigned the HRP/RCMP Integrated Drug Unit and created the Guns and Gangs Team. The Team focuses on mid-level players in the drug sub-culture whom we believe are responsible for much of the violence, especially the shooting incidents, in HRM. The drug statistics are enforcement based and an increase was expected in light of the directed enforcement.
HRM Partners in Policing are continuing to stay the course with our crime reduction strategy to address the increase in violent crime. We will continue to focus on hot spots policing, deploy our Quick Response, Street Crime Units and Guns and Gangs Team to target the criminal element, monitor those who are on court imposed conditions, and put officers in close contact with the community to address crime as well as quality-of-life issues.