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Toronto Police Service adds extensive new shooting data to its public safety data portal

Broadcast time: 12:00
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Unit: Analytics & Innovation
Phone: 416-808-7986

The Toronto Police Service today released new shooting data spanning the past 15 years. The Shootings & Firearms Discharges Data represents a new downloadable open dataset and was included as part of the Service’s annual update to its Public Safety Data Portal.

The new Shootings & Firearms Discharges Data contains all shooting-related occurrences reported to the Service between 2004 and 2020, including when and where these events occurred – supported by mapping and neighbourhood statistics – and the level of injury reported for each occurrence.

“The strategic goals of our Gun & Gang Strategy Framework include engaging in a multi-sector and evidence-based response to gun and gang activity that includes a public health lens,” said Chief of Police James Ramer. “By publicly posting the numbers of when, where, and how often residents of our city are victims of gun violence, we are providing the facts that will help us have an honest conversation about the community partnerships and investment that are needed to keep our streets safe.”

The shooting data indicates that gun violence has been steadily increasing in Toronto since 2015. During the last five years, the average number of shootings per year has increased to 436, nearly double the average number of shootings that occurred between 2004 and 2015, at 228 per year. The shooting dataset is accompanied by supporting documentation, open analytics and a video tutorial to help users navigate and understand the data.

“Gun violence is on the rise in our city and is understandably of increasing concern to us and to the residents of Toronto,” said Ian Williams, Manager of Analytics and Innovation at the Service. “Being transparent and making this level of data available will help us further collaborate with our communities on innovative public safety strategies and on other ways to better deliver police services in Toronto.”

The Service’s Analytics and Innovation Unit also updated already existing datasets with 2020 data, including Major Crime Indicators (assault, auto theft, break and enter, robbery and theft over), Homicides, and Bicycle Thefts. Trends from this data indicate that Major Crime Indicator (MCI) offences have decreased by 13 percent from 2019 to 2020, although auto thefts peaked in 2020 at 5,666 offences, an increase of approximately 6 percent from 2019.

Data visuals and accompanying datasets now include more comprehensive layouts; and new fields of information and new enhanced supplementary documents have been released for MCI, Homicides and Bicycle Thefts datasets.

The Service is a recognized leader in the open data space for the range of crime data shared on its Public Safety Data Portal and for providing unprecedented access to location-based police information using geographic information system (GIS) technology.

More comprehensive dataset trends stemming from the 2021 Update are available in this backgrounder document.

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Stephanie Sayer, Corporate Communications, for Ian Williams, Analytics and Innovation