Published on March 2, 2016 | by Kristina Ramcharran     Photography by Kristina Ramcharran


Crime in Rexdale 2016: What’s the next step to safety?

Toronto police are on the case to create a safer Rexdale for residents and students alike.

Recent news reports show Rexdale has already been the setting of a homicide, a break-in and sexual assault. Toronto Police Staff Sgt. Joe Dawson says the police service is using a number of programs to help prevent high amounts of crimes from happening.

Dawson has been a community response officer at 23 Division for 27 years. He says there are many ways officers are working hard to prevent crimes in the area

“We have a program called ILP, Intelligence Lead Policing. If an area has a high number of break and enters, we’ll put it on special attention for a certain number of hours for a certain amount of time, and we’ll keep results that we have at the time when we attend it and see if there’s any difference in crime,” adds staff Sgt. Dawson

He adds there are a number of other programs, however he describes crime as being very moveable.

He does say that there are setbacks in fighting crime. “The problem with policing from time to time is if you get a major occurrence, such as a major homicide or a major stabbing, a major accident, it takes just that one type of call to tie up your resources for a long time.”

Another program in Rexdale that aims to curb crime in the neighbourhood is the FOCUS program. Toronto’s community development manager Scott McKean is in charge of this program which wants to minimize crime by linking Toronto Police officers with social workers.

“We’ve used the boundaries of 23 Division, for the police station, and so within those boundaries we’ve responded to 380 situations. We’re seeing situations from young people, to the elderly, and everyone in between,said McKean on the progress of the program since it started in 2013.

McKean says the program’s goals are stopping crime and using Rexdale’s resources. “We’re sort of identifying that the expertise needed to deal with the situations of risk in the neighbourhood, more importantly, the vulnerabilities in the neighbourhood are more human service issues than police issues, and often the neighbourhood gets tagged as crime. So right off the bat, this isn’t just about crime.”

The Humber Department of Public Safety has various tools and programs to keep University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College students secure.

Director of the Department of Safety Rob Kilfoyle says they are responsible for maintaining safety on campus by using improved lighting, the campus walk program, code blue emergency phones and numerous surveillance cameras around campus.

On the safety of the campus environment Kilfoyle says, “the majority of students actually indicate that they do feel safe on campus, either they agree or strongly agree to that question so it’s a very high percentage. So I think we do a good job with that.”

Kilfoyle received student feedback on their safety by conducting surveys at the college.

He adds, “we don’t have a lot of control over what’s happening sort of off campus, so we really try to create a positive and safe environment on campus for folks that live in the area. So while there may be some things that are occurring off campus that aren’t too pleasant, really, on campus the environment and the atmosphere here is one that is much safer.”




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About the Author

Your typical University of Guelph-Humber student and much more. Kristina enjoys coffee, car photography, and is likely to be enjoying a slice of pizza at the moment. I also enjoy referring to myself in the third person, just for effect!

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