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Youth-related crime increases in Windsor: report

Windsor police headquarters in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Melanie Borrelli/CTV News Windsor) Windsor police headquarters in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Melanie Borrelli/CTV News Windsor)
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There was an increase in youth-related crime across the city in 2022, according to an annual report by Windsor Police.

It indicates there was an 11.9 per cent increase last year compared to 2021.

“That is not something we want to see increase,” said Chief Jason Bellaire.

Bellaire said the police service has reinvigorated it’s connection with youth crime in the last couple years by working closer with groups like Youth Diversion to prevent youth crime from evolving into adult crime.

The report said there were 254 youths involved in crime as either an accused party, an arrested person, a charged person, or an offender.

“One explanation is sometimes that our involvement is creating a higher statistic,” Bellaire said. “But certainly, you know, I can't say that. I can't rule out that there just simply is an increase in youth crime this year and it may go down next year and it may not, but certainly violent crime as it relates to youth is the bigger concern.”

The report said 156 youth committed violent crime in 2022. That’s a 35 per cent increase from the total of 115 in 2021 and above the five-year average of 149.

Bellaire explained, “we noted that ourselves when we're going through our statistics and we are connecting with our partners and Youth Diversion and New Beginnings and the other groups, we're very closely aligned to them. Our investigators meet with them all the time. And it's something that we hope that the next time around with the report. The good news is that we've made the appropriate interventions not just as a police service, but with the other agencies that are involved with youth interventions.”

Bellaire said they’re hoping that “through that collaborative effort that we settle our statistics a little bit more and that we see that downward trend that we'd like to see.”

Young offenders committing drug related crimes decreased in 2022. The figure for last year, two is down 14 from 2021 and is below the five-year average of 10.

The number of young person’s committing property crime in 2022 was 62, an increase of 32 per cent from last year. However, officials note the total of 62 is still significantly below the five-year average of 86.

The report went on to say that youth committing “Other Crime”, the majority of which include breach of release conditions and fail to attend court violations, went down with 34 young offender’s involved. A 30 per cent decrease from last year.

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