Skip to main content

Data shows break-ins, petty theft increasing in Timmins


New numbers from the Timmins Police Service show that break-ins since January are up considerably compared to last year, while violent crime appears to be mellowing.

The latest data compares police calls from January to April. It shows that in the same period last year, there were 340 calls for violent crime and more than 700 property crime calls.

In the same time period this year, police received 299 calls related to violence, a nine per cent dip over last year. Meanwhile, property crime saw a 23 per cent spike at more than 830 calls.

Timmins police community liaison officer Marc Depatie said while the dip in violent crime is encouraging, he urges people to understand that police are doing what they can to address break-ins.

"We’re working with what resources we have at the ready,” said Depatie.

“We deploy manpower and public education and officers with special skills to address those types of situations."

Depatie said the police service is working to hire and retain officers, leaning on outreach and working with mental health, addiction and social service agencies.

But he said people need to do their part to protect themselves because despite police’s best efforts, they can’t be everywhere at once.

"There has to be some proactivity, in terms of what an individual property owner can do,” said Depatie.

Calling the police is an important step, he said, as is making sure doors are locked, belongings hidden and storefronts secured.

Depatie said police always monitor problem areas to determine where resources are needed most.

Downtown Timmins BIA executive director Jessica Mayer said she is working on proposals to city council for extra supports. She wants more security personnel and funding for downtown outreach workers.

She said it's clear that businesses are hurting and in low spirits.

"These are their dreams, they've worked really hard for these dreams … and to deal with this, it's very crushing,” said Mayer.

“I really want to help bring that hope back into downtown. I want that community back."

Depatie said the police service is considering purchasing body cameras and more downtown video surveillance.

He said the mobile crisis rapid response team, which deploys mental health workers alongside police, is an important component to addressing people’s issues before they turn to crime.

City councillor Steve Black said people are understandably frustrated, but noted that while the municipality is doing what it can to address crime, it needs support from higher levels of government.

"Mental health, addiction [are] provincial issues, they're health issues. The province has failed immensely on addressing these issues,” said Black.

“Seeing the same people back out on the street, committing another crime on the same day, that's an issue with our justice system. We need to lobby and be critical of the federal government."

Criticism from constituents is coming to a head, with a town hall meeting Thursday evening expecting a large turnout and plenty of opinions on what needs to be done.

Black said it's time for difficult conversations within city council and with the public, saying people are no longer asking for change. They’re demanding it. Top Stories

Stay Connected