According to data posted today on the Toronto Police Service’s Public Safety Data Portal, the average number of shootings per year has increased to 436 since 2015, nearly double the average number of shootings that occurred between 2004 and 2015.
“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.”
For the first time, the Service’s Analytics and Innovation Unit is releasing shooting data as a downloadable open dataset, providing information to the public on shootings in Toronto spanning the past 15 years. 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.
“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 the Analytics and Innovation unit at the Service.
The new shooting data was included as part of the Analytics and Innovation Unit’s annual update to datasets on the Public Safety Data Portal. It will be accompanied by supporting documentation and open analytics to help people understand what the data means, including the links below:
• Shooting & Firearm Discharges Open Data Video
• Shooting & Firearm Discharges Story Map
• Downloadable Dataset
• Updated Open Analytics
• Supporting Open Data Documentation
• Shooting & Firearms Discharges locations available in the Crime App Year End Map
• Shooting & Firearms Discharges by neighbourhood statistics available in the Neighbourhood Crime App
“The Toronto Police Service is committed to being transparent and providing meaningful information to our communities,” said Marianna Pellizari, Senior Open Data Specialist in Analytics and Innovation. “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 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 offences have decreased by 13 percent from 2019 to 2020, although auto thefts in 2020 were at their highest levels ever at 5,666 reported offences, an increase of approximately 6 percent from 2019. Newly posted data also demonstrates that homicide occurrences have decreased over the last 3 years, with a 10 percent decrease between 2019 and 2020 and a 19 percent decrease between 2018 and 2019.
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.
For more information, please email Analytics.Innovation@TorontoPolice.on.ca.