Blue Line

Toronto Police Service adds mental health calls for service to its public safety data portal

February 24, 2022  By Blue Line Staff

Feb. 23, 2022, Toronto, Ont. – The Toronto Police Service today released mental health and persons in crisis data spanning the past seven years. The Persons in Crisis Calls for Service and Mental Health Act Apprehensions Data represent new downloadable open datasets as part of the Public Safety Data Portal.

The Persons in Crisis Calls for Service data includes calls attended by a police officer for various attempt or threaten suicide occurrences, as well as overdoses. The portal displays data between 2014 and 2020.

The Mental Health Act Apprehensions data includes the number of times an apprehension has been made under the Mental Health Act because a police office has had reasonable grounds to believe that a person is acting in a disorderly manner and is a threat or at risk of causing harm to themselves or others. The portal displays data between 2014 and 2020.

Both data sets will be updated annually as part of the Service’s ongoing update to the Data Portal.

“The Toronto Police Service recognizes the complexity of mental health and addictions issues and our Strategy demonstrates our ongoing commitment to effective, compassionate and respectful responses to these complex issues,” said Chief of Police Jim Ramer. “Making this information openly available is one step we are taking towards sharing our progress with the community and our partners.”

In addition to the expanded data sets on the Public Safety Data Portal, the Service also launched its dashboard to provide the public with access to the implementation status of the recommendations made in the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

The dashboard, which can be accessed here, includes each recommendation, the unit(s) responsible for implementing the change, and the steps taken to improve the way the Service provides services and support to persons in crisis in the community and within the TPS.

The Service is a recognized leader in the open data space for the range of crime data shared on its Public Safety Data Portal and for providing unprecedented access to location-based police information using geographic information system (GIS) technology.

The information visualizes the data and illustrates trends for call types, proportion of apprehensions made, temporal trends, divisional trends, neighbourhood trends, and demographic trends.

Findings from the data include:

– MHA Apprehensions have steadily increased 7.4% on average, year-over-year, since 2014

– Persons in Crisis Calls for Service Attended have steadily increased 6.4% on average, year-over-year, since 2014

– In 2020, 23.3% of Persons in Crisis Calls for Service Attended resulted in an MHA Apprehension

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