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Editorials

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Police hot spots

Posted: 11/12/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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THE release Thursday of a police-funded report shows response times are behind national standards and do not prioritize threats to life as they should. Before city council reaches any conclusions, though, it needs research on where and when crime happens.

Repeat studies, however, have shown there is little good, timely analysis of where crime is happening and at what level. The ability to crunch numbers rapidly would help in long-term planning, but it would also show where officers are needed immediately. This could lead to reducing the reliance on two-officer vehicles.

The WPS itself says an average response time of 77 minutes for assaults with a weapon, including domestic assaults, is not good, but the police-funded review did not account for 911 analysis of risk -- a woman who was punched by her partner but is safe with a relative is no longer in immediate peril.

City council should take a hard look at the detail behind the findings, including that redeployment of resources can lead to a more efficient, not necessarily more expensive, police service.

There is no argument Winnipeg has higher volumes of certain violent crimes. The WPS needs the technology to analyze patterns quickly, to move officers to hot spots in the city. That is policing in the information age and is the hallmark of good, responsive service.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2013 A12

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