Members of the Board, support staff and senior Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS) executives were joined by members of the public via live stream for our latest board meeting held on Thursday, September 29 at the HRPS Headquarters.
Among many important items on the agenda, the HRPS presented its 2022 Mid-Year Performance Review, which included an overview of the Police Service’s performance from January to June 2022 in many key statistical measures compared to previous years. The report also provided an overview of the Service’s 2021 full-year performance in comparison to other large police agencies in Ontario, based on data released by Statistics Canada in August.
As expected, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were significant in several crime and
performance metrics in 2020 and 2021. And while the data from the first six months of 2022
suggests a return to pre-pandemic levels is underway, there were still some areas of the report that promoted thoughtful questions from the Board and productive discussions.
Representing the citizens of Halton, our conversations focused on the reasons for increases in both violent and property crime rates in 2022, and the correlation to Halton’s population growth; actions and planning to address auto theft, hate crime, and other upwardly trending crime types; the impact of the HRPS educational programs, like those to prevent impaired driving; and direction to add hate crimes, cyber-crime and human trafficking data, a Board focus, to the updated HRPS mid-year performance report for next month’s meeting.
Another key decision reached at the meeting was to advocate for the Provincial Government to enhance school bus safety by incorporating a camera and direct-fine technology into all school buses. With this addition, we hope to help catch, deter, and reduce the number of drivers passing school buses with their lights flashing.
Currently, crime rates remain close to the lowest levels experienced in Halton’s history. What’s more, recently released data (in August 2022) from Statistics Canada indicates that Halton’s 2021 crime rate was lower than every major police service in Ontario–making us the safest mid-sized municipality in Canada.