Last year, Peel Police received 746,000 calls (or 2,044 calls per day), which represents a five-per-cent increase over 2018.
Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah who presented the report said the top 10 citizen-initiated calls that required immediate response from patrol officers in 2019 were: family and intimate partner disputes; medical assist; suicide attempt; personal injury as a result of multi-vehicle collision; disturbances; mental health act issues; premise check; reports of dangerous weapons; assault; and impaired driving.
A majority of these calls were not crime-related, although 91 per cent of the calls related to mental health issues.
In 2019, police seized $3.3 million worth of drugs; there was a 44-per-cent reduction in traffic fatalities and a five-per-cent reduction of criminal code offences (41,000 offences in 2019). Stabbings decreased by 18 per cent, to 199. Robberies declined by 13 per cent, to 918. Sexual violations decreased by 8 per cent, to 1,016.
However, last year homicides increased by 24 per cent, to 31, and the number of shooting victims increased by 11 per cent, to 59.
During the last year, there has been an increase of 859 intimate partner disputes, 452 multi-vehicle collisions and more than 6,360 requests for assistance mental health calls.
While paramedics or fire and emergency services are on site for mental health calls, Duraiappah said the province’s mental health act only authorizes police to transport patients for psychiatric assessment.
Duraiappah said Peel police would rather not be involved in mental health calls. “There has to be another solution,” he said.
Peel police established the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRT) in early 2020, which teams a crisis worker with a specially trained police officer to respond to situations involving people experiencing a mental health crisis.
However, Duraiappah said the program provides “minimal deployment” with only two cars per day.
The A. Grenville and William Davis courthouse is arguably among the busiest courthouses in Canada with 12,000 active cases, said Duraiappah, with Newmarket coming second at 6,000 active cases.
According to data from Statistics Canada, Peel’s crime rate has risen every year from 2014 to 2018 from 2,993.71 to 3,334.83 per 100,000 people. While those figures are higher than Halton and York regions, they’re lower than the rates in nearby municipalities, such as Toronto (2014: 3,799.75, 2018: 4,454.19) and Durham (2014: 3,333.69, 2018: 3,449.66), as well as the provincial rate (2014: 4,021.06, 2018: 4,486.94). -CINEWS