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Crime down across Durham Region, Oshawa

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

It’s official – crime was down in the region last year.

According to the recently released annual report for 2015, Durham residents experienced less crime than the year before. The report – of which a preliminary version was presented to regional councillors earlier this year – highlights a 0.3 per cent drop in Criminal Code violations, not including traffic charges, with 23,202 known violations.

On its own, Oshawa saw a 1.8 per cent drop in crimes not including traffic violations, including notable decreases in break and enters (24.6 per cent), motor vehicle thefts (33.7 per cent) and drug possession (20.8 per cent).

The city, however, did see increases in fraud (27.6 per cent), arson (14.3 per cent) and drug production (20 per cent).

For police chief Paul Martin, the general downward trend seen in Durham is similar to that across the country, but adds that may change in the future.

“It’s been trending pretty much the way it has been across the western world, across the province as far as a lot of the crime categories. Do we expect that that is going to occur forever? No, I don’t. At some point in time, it is going to level off,” he tells The Oshawa Express.

“In fact, for the first quarter of this year, we reported that some of our statistics are leveling off and to some degree upticking a little bit. These things are cyclical. There is a lot of good things that we are putting in place and have put in place.”

Looking ahead, Martin says Durham police will work to better adapt to the changing world, seeing the force as a single piece in a much larger collaboration.

“What I would like to see in the future…is that we’ve enhanced our collaboration and our partnerships so that we’re better able to deal with things earlier on, before they become higher risk and incident driven,” he says.

“What I’d also like to see going forward is to deal with the changing nature of harm. We certainly have our traditional response, where people call us, we respond with a uniformed vehicle, that type of thing. But we’ve seen some changes with respect to some of our vulnerable communities – the fraud, scams, those sorts of things.”