Almost all types of crimes increased in 2022: police

The total number of incidents reported to York Regional Police (YRP) increased 9.7 per cent last year – 52.8 per cent of which were criminal.

“Almost all types of crime increased after the pandemic slowdowns but there were concerning trends in weapons violations, thefts of vehicles, hate crime and non-criminal fatal overdoses,” Const. Maniva Armstrong says of the 2022 Annual Statistics Report. “These patterns are on our radar, and we are working with our policing partners and stakeholders to ensure safety and well-being for our communities.”

YRP also released its Annual Report. “Inside these pages you will find stories of heroism; diligent, ongoing work dismantling organized crime groups; continuing efforts to educate and protect our community from fraud and theft; new programs that better connect our people with our residents; and improved effectiveness through advances in technology,” says Chief Jim MacSween.

According to the annual report, more than 3,160 vehicles were stolen across York last year – 1,000 more than the previous year. “Thieves working for organized crime groups are using electronic devices to reprogram car ignition systems and steal vehicles from driveways in the dead of night,” says Supt. Duncan MacIntyre, commander in charge of the Organized Crime and Intelligence Services Bureau.

“The cars are then sent overseas to foreign buyers.” Through Projects GTA and Touchdown, both joint-forces operations, YRP recovered 200 stolen vehicles worth $18 million and made more than 60 arrests last year. It tracked down 1,300 vehicles in total.

Also last year, YRP launched the Connected Officer program, which allows officers to share and access information electronically through smartphones. Officer notes, witness statements and evidence are now captured electronically, reducing administrative time. Report highlights also include rescuing 16 abused puppies following a fraud and animal cruelty investigation in Markham. Youth crime increased last year over the previous year by 55 per cent, YRP reports, with 490 youth charged compared to 316 in 2021.

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