Too many of our crimes go unreportedD               uring the last few weeks                                              ...
(Burlington Spectator August 17, 1998)
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Too many of our crimes go unreported (newspaper)


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Too many of our crimes go unreported (newspaper)

  1. 1. Too many of our crimes go unreportedD uring the last few weeks process because of their frustration jority of cases, the perpetrator is an cers and community agencies, there has been with the Young Offenders Act. Conse- adolescent male who has assaulted his such as the Halton Rape Crisis considerable press quences handed down in court are of- mother more than once (although fa- Centre. It is also our opinion thatcoverage about crime rates. ten perceived as meaningless and too thers and daughters could be affected). assaults in schools are in fact onAn article on July 23,1998 read “Vio- costly for the results produced. Still other parents are threatened with the increase, which reflects thelent crime rate drops for sixth year.” It In our work with families and at harm or death by their child. There are culture we presently live in.quoted David Foot, author of Boom, Parent Watch, we have heard officers many reasons why parents do not re- What we all have to remember isBust and Echo as saying “...the de- discourage people from filing port their child’s behaviour to the po- that, unless we have an accuratecrease in crime is due in part to the de- complaints against young offenders lice. For some parents, the issue in- picture of the incidence and naturecrease in young people.” In a July 27, because “they will only get a slap on volves guilt or the fear of causing the of crime, we will continue to1998 Hamilton Spectator article we the hand in court.” child to have a criminal record or be- apply our resources in a mostlywere told “youths are responsible for Each year, we refer a number of ing perceived as a “bad” parent. This reactive way. We must start tocrime increase.” adolescent females to the Regional phenomenon, we feel, is extremely un- deal with the root causes thatThe Spectator article also quoted Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit der-reported and should deserve the increase the risk of criminalHamilton-Wentworth Police Chief at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial same amount of attention as other un- behaviour.Ken Robertson as suggesting that develop policies and intervention. If Hospital. An alarming proportion of der reported crimes. The bottom line is As we review the statistics and“...the increase in minor assaults — crime statistics are hidden then our re- these young women report being that we have women living in fear and proposed community plans for theassaults that produce no serious sponse to crime will be less effective. victims of date rape. Yet, for various suffering from abuse from their sons. future, let us acknowledge theinjuries is largely due to a new zero In April 1992, a meeting was held in reasons these victims have chosen not There are also parents who have hidden statistics when we aretolerance Safe Schools Initiative.” We Burlington by the safe City Action Ad- to pursue charges. Therefore these vividly described to us how their child formulating directions of service.have also been told that violence visory Committee. At one point during young victims do not show up in the has damaged their home and its con- Money invested in preventionamong adolescent women is the meeting, someone suggested that the crime statistics and date rape is under- tents. Again, in most cases parents do and supported throughincreasing. number of young females assaulting represented in the statistics. not wish to pursue charges. They des- community-based organizationsOur experience at Parent Watch in each other was increasing. Unfor- The good news here is that in perately seek help from anyone who can reduce levels of crimeHalton during the past five years has tunately the point was viewed as an ex- Halton the crown attorney’s office has can stop the cycle of violence without regardless of what report or studygiven us a different view of the situa- aggeration. Now, several years later, we implemented a victim witness support charges and therefore, without affect- you want to quote. Unfortunately,tion, based on the experiences of par- now know that assaults committed by program that provides support, ing the statistics. there are still too many acts ofents who have attended. young females against their own gender information and court orientation to As professionals, we do not sub- violence that go unreported evenThe statistics don’t take into account and age group have increased victims of crimes who must testify in scribe to the explanation that Zero with the best efforts to supportthe large number of people who don’t dramatically. Did we miss an opportu- court. Tolerance has increased assault our a crime. We are not suggesting nity to act before the statistics reached In the course of the school year, we statistics. With or without the policy,that every incident should result in a current levels? see many students who have been most schools and their administrators Ray Pidzamecky MSW andcharge.We are concerned that the Without a doubt, crime statistics for assaulted yet decline to pursue have been holding perpetrators Penny Smith MSW are privatecomplete picture is not being youth crime are under-reported. Not charges. The administration of each accountable within the parameters of practioners and can be reached at:presented. It is important to try to sort everyone reports a crime or having been school is empowered to deal with the Young Offenders Act. 905-466-0444out this issue, especially when you victimized. Part of the problem is that perpetrators according to the school’s We believe one explanation to thelook at how much money goes into supports and services for victim’s rights codes of conduct. increase in assault charges is in part an or visit with crime. have lagged behind the services we Another hidden statistic is the num- increased level of education and The important point here is statis- afford perpetrators. ber of parents who have been assaulted awareness provided to students bytics help agencies and governments to There are many police officers and by their adolescent child. In the ma- school staff, high school liaison offi- victims who do not support the charge
  2. 2. (Burlington Spectator August 17, 1998)
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