The Violence Reduction Strategy has three main goals: to lessen the severity, frequency and fear/ perception of violence in Edmonton. This strategy also guides the EPS in its day-to-day activities.
These goals are all measurable. We collect and analyze statistics on a regular basis to determine where improvements have been made or where more work needs to be done.
Severity is defined by the seriousness of a criminal event. The chart below shows the severity of violence in 2014 as compared to 2013 and 2012. For 2014, the chart shows an improvement in violent crimes by 2.0 points compared to 2013. Non-violent crimes have increased, but violent crimes have decreased. The statistics are based on a points system (not percentages) as calculated by Statistics Canada.
Another way to look at severity is through harm reduction. Harm reduction is intervention, prevention, and/or suppression tactics that impact harm or harmful consequences. A reduction in severity normally means there is a reduction in harm to victims.
A major part of the Violence Reduction Strategy is to reduce harm linked to high-risk behaviour and people at risk of violence. As an example, the EPS’s Community Action Teams work with Homeward Trust (and other outreach workers) on the Housing First initiative. Housing First removes people from places of crime and provides supports to improve their life situation. To date, the teams’ deployments have housed more than 40 people.
Frequency is measured by the amount of violent crime during a given time period. For 2015, EPS' target is to stop Edmonton's violent crimes from increasing. It's important to note that socio-economic factors influence crime and disorder.
In 2014, assaults were up 3.2%, homicides were down 17.2%, robberies were up 2.7% and sexual assaults were up 1.9%.
Fear and Perception of Violence
The way Edmonton’s citizens fear and perceive violence is critical to us. We want people to feel safe in their neighbourhoods, and in their city as a whole. To keep track of how Edmontonians feel about violence in the city, we regularly conduct surveys and workshops with community members.
In the 2014 Citizen Survey, respondents were questioned about their feelings of safety in their neighbourhoods and going out after dark, and compared crime levels in Edmonton to other Canadian cities. You can read it here:
We regularly engage with members of our diverse communities. We want to hear ideas and understand other perspectives about reducing violence in our city.
Monitoring Edmontonian’s feelings of safety, fear and perception of crime is an ongoing process. We continually hold meetings with community members, in partnership with the City of Edmonton and REACH Edmonton. We gain feedback from citizens about what should be considered important in reducing crime and disorder.
We know the citizens of Edmonton agree with our areas of focus and that we’re heading in the right direction.
How You Can Get Involved
Reducing violence in our city is up to all of us. You can get involved by learning how to keep you, your family and your community safe. You can also keep up to date with EPS Crime and Disorder information. Most importantly, if you witness any crime, violence or suspicious behaviour, report it to the police.