Slight rise in violent crimes last year over the year before, according to Barrie Police Services Board report

More impaired driving charges a result of more training

There was more violent crime in Barrie last year versus the year before.

Members of the Barrie Police Services Board took a look at the numbers at its latest meeting, that breaks down the changes, year over year, in the prevalence of various crime. The stats indicate that incidences of violent crimes rose 3.5 percent from 2018 to 2019.

Graph and data courtesy Barrie Police Services Board

“It’s not a huge increase, but what we are noticing is that this year, we saw a very small increase in our human trafficking investigation and our sexual assault investigations.” said Deputy Chief Weatherill, “we believe at this point in time that is driving our numbers.”

“Whenever there is an increase in violent crime, it’s always concerning to us,” added Weatherill, “we are constantly looking at our trends, but most importantly looking after our victims of crime.”

There was a huge bump in impaired driving charges last year versus the year before; the Police Services Board noted a 91 percent increase in 2019. While Weatherill says it was partly due to the legalization of cannabis, he notes that an increase in training meant there were more impaired drivers caught, not more impaired drivers on the roads. “We are very fortunate that now we have eleven of our members trained as drug recognition experts, and we have 44 of our front-line officers that are trained as standard field sobriety test people.” says Weatherill, “we believe that the training we have been giving our front line is responsible for the increase in the number of charges.”

The number of break and enters saw a significant reduction as well, with the Police Services Board reporting 21 percent fewer incidences in 2019 over the year before. Weatherill points directly to a special unit created just to combat rising B&E rates. “We’ve been focused on our break and enters now for just about 18 months,” Weatherill told Barrie 360, “and for us to have a decrease of over 20 percent year over year, it’s a really good news story.”

“Our deployment will be depended on our ability to analyze our data,” concluded Weatherill. “so we can be more intelligently driven, how we deploy our people, and how we connect it all together.”