By Ryan Saundercook
The West Humber-Clairville neighborhood, where Humber College’s North campus is located, and where many Humber students call their home, has appeared on a CBC article listing Toronto’s crime hot-spots for 2011.
When it comes to theft over $5,000 and stolen vehicles, the neighborhood ranks second in both categories. There were 84.5 vehicle thefts and 15.8 thefts over $5,000 per 10,000 residents in the area, according to the CBC article.
Crime data released for Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods has been compiled into an interactive map by CBC News. Users can sort the data into different criminal categories like assault and theft.
Pervez Ditta, Director of Public Safety at Humber College said that despite these high crime rates, the North campus itself is safe and has managed to avoid major issues.
“We’re very fortunate that the amount of crime we actually do get on campus is very minimum. I can’t even think of one instance of vehicle crime on campus,” Ditta told Humber News.
“We have controlled lots, we have CCTV in our lots, we have emergency phones in our lots, and plenty of guard presence,” Ditta said.
“I’ve been here for nearly 20 months now and I can’t think of even one instance, at any of the campuses, where a vehicle has been broken into.”
The one prevalent issue at Humber is locker thefts, Ditta said.
An online video showing people how to break into cheap locks is a big part of the issue, he said.
Meg Hastings, 3rd year film and television production student at Humber said she wasn’t aware of the high theft rates, but that the area’s existing reputation makes her wary.
“It has a horrible reputation. We’re told not to go outside alone at night because of what could happen,” said Hastings.
Hastings added the presence of authority created by Humber’s security team has to be scaring people who otherwise might commit a crime.
Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash told the CBC in the article that the numbers have to be treated with caution.
“What [police] look for is a much larger picture. We’ll look at the history, the trends, criminal intelligence, demographics, a wide variety of factors before we come up with conclusions about what it all means,” said Pugash in an interview with the CBC.
Pugash said calculating per capita criminal occurrences, like CBC did, is risky because it doesn’t take non-residents into account.
West Humber-Clairville is bordered on the north by the 407, on the west by the 427, on the south by the 401, and by Kipling and Martin Grove on the East.
How does West Humber-Clairville compare?
The following data shows the rank of Humber-Clairville when compared to other neighbourhoods and the number of instances of the listed crime per 10,000 population.