The results are in and crime was down across HRM for the fourth year in a row last year.
According to police statistics, 2008 saw a drop in both violent crime (down six per cent from 2007) and property crime (down 11 per cent from 2007).
“It’s a combination of a number of initiatives we’ve undertaken combined with new officers that have been provided to us,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Jeff Carr.
The downturn in crime has paired pretty closely with the growing police force. In 2005 there were a little more than 400 sworn Halifax Regional Police officers, said Carr. Today that number has risen to 518.
Both the city and province have funded new officers. In late 2007 police Chief Frank Beazley said there was not enough police to fully tackle some high-crime pockets across HRM.
Yesterday Carr said many of the new officers have been deployed to those areas, and three new community offices have been set up in Greystone, Bayers/Westwood and Scotia Court in Dartmouth.
“I’m not sure if we set any goal numbers-wise, but obviously our goal in any year is to reduce crime,” said Carr. “So we’re happy to see that happen this year.”
Both break and enters and motor vehicle thefts saw massive drops in 2008. Break and enters fell by 23 per cent, while motor vehicle thefts were down 17 per cent. Robberies were down eight per cent overall.
While crime has been decreasing in Halifax in general, one area bucking the trend is violent youth crime. The number of 12- to 17-year-olds charged with violent crimes has been steadily inching upwards. Whether that continued in 2008 will be released in a July Statistics Canada report.