Tackling trends in crime
February 2, 2023 By Brittani Schroeder
Happy New Year to all of our readers! I’m so delighted to be starting off another year with Blue Line and excited for the stories and events that we will bring you in 2023. From articles on trends in policing, new technologies, innovations and gear, to our three events – Security · Police · Fire Career Expo on March 9, OACP & Blue Line Expo 2023 on May 9, and Blue Line Expo International in autumn – I think there is so much that we can all learn this year.
When looking at trends in policing for the first Blue Line edition of the year, there were many topics that could have been focused on. In the fall of 2022, I attended the 25th Annual Fraud & Anti-Counterfeiting Conference in Toronto, and I sat in on a session that looked at the issue of counterfeit currency, which was presented by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Bank of Canada, and the U.S. Secret Service. It was interesting to hear that, even with the advancements and security measures put in place for our Canadian currency, this trend of counterfeiting is ongoing.
I later spoke with Constable Michael Scott-Doornink, who was the conference session’s RCMP representative, about what trends he and the RCMP have been seeing in counterfeit currency over the last few years, and what they—and other law enforcement agencies—can do to stop this kind of crime. You can find that full story on page 10.
Another topic to focus on was illegal guns and the crimes being committed by them. In 2022, Statistics Canada released data on trends of firearm-related violent crime in Canada, from 2009 to 2020. In this study, they found that in 2020, police reported a total of 743 homicide victims in Canada, and 277 of these victims were killed with a firearm. In addition, there were 8,344 victims of police-reported violent crimes where a firearm was present. It is important to note that this study did not specify whether the crimes were committed with legal or illegal firearms. You can read more from this report at www150.statcan.gc.ca.
Even with the advancements and security measures put in place for our Canadian currency, this trend of counterfeiting is ongoing.
In recent conversations with Chris D. Lewis, retired Ontario Provincial Police commissioner, he shared with me his thoughts on whether new federal firearms laws would reduce gun crime in Canada. His short answer? No. You can read more of his opinion and his examples on the matter on page 16.
The third trend I wanted to look at in this edition of Blue Line was how the public calls for police modernization (or police reform) have led to new training in police agencies across the country. Some of these trainings are made to ensure police officers are being properly taken care of, so that they in turn can better serve their communities. In an article written by Chief Neil Dubord of the Delta Police Department in British Columbia, the chief shares his experiences with ABLE training, which is active bystandership for law enforcement. You can read all about this training on page 14.
Moving forward into the rest of 2023, new crime trends may emerge and you, as members of law enforcement, will do what you do best and find a way to stop it. I will be here to share and champion your success stories, in the hopes that it will go on to help other policing agencies in their fight against crime.
As always, if there is something you’ve encountered over the last few years that you think fellow officers could benefit and learn from, or a topic you think we should be talking about, please reach out to me at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Until next time, happy reading and be well.
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