Pedestrian Stats Noticeably Absent

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Q: How often have pedestrians been struck by hit/run drivers in London ?
A: At least twice within the past week.

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it… a brief mention in today’s paper (“Police seek hit and run info“; London Free Press; 2007/11/28) about “a girl” who sustained “minor” injuries last Wednesday evening after she was “knocked down by a dark-coloured station wagon” which then left the scene. And of another female who was “thrown onto the hood” of “a four-door, white Honda Civic” on Saturday afternoon. In both cases, the operators of the automobiles left without identifying themselves. Presumably that means that they left before police arrived.

    Appended 2007/11/30 @ 21:00
I just revisited the LPS website and … quelle surprise! … there’s now a “Media Releases” link on the main page pointing to a brand new page (which isn’t dated) all about these recent vehicle/pedestrian incidents and the driver’s “legal obligation” to identify themself before leaving the scene. It seems I may have caught somebody’s attention 😉

As short on information as the newspaper article may be, it puts the London Police Services website to shame. Because there’s no mention of these incidents at all on it’s “Media Releases” page. Or on it’s “Wanted” page. Or on it’s “FYI” page. In fact, when I typed “pedestrian” into the search facility on the LPS website, I got a sum total of only 8 articles. One of those (2006/03/23 LPS Board Minutes) refers to “statistical information on Pedestrian Safety” that had been presented by Sgt. Tom O’Brien, but does not provide those stats.

So, how often do incidents involving automobiles and pedestrians happen in London? If we can’t get that information from the police website, perhaps we can get it from our elected officials.

Yeah, right ;(

I’ve been fighting for such disclosure for many years.
Plod on, dear reader…

From: “Lysynski, Heather”
To: Gregory Fowler
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 12:15:54 PM
Subject: RE: LPS Stats

Hi Mr. Fowler,

I have not forgotten about your communication. I just need to speak with my Manager as to why it is not coming up in the search engine as it is part of the CPSC Agenda.

Heather Lysynski
Committee Secretary
City Clerk’s Office
519-661-2500 x 4856

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Lysynski, Heather
Cc: Bain, Kevin; Caranci, Roger
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 9:48 AM
Subject: Re: LPS Stats

Ms Lysynski,

Thank you for the attachment.

I note that the most recent LPS stats are included in CSCP’s 8th report that is item #02 on today’s CAPS agenda. However, when I used the city website’s search facility using “CRIME STATISTICS” and “POLICE STATISTICS” as search terms, the 2007/09/30 LPS stats didn’t appear in the search results.

As much as I appreciate the fact that the stats are now included in the CSCP’s written report, instead of simply being verbally presented as has previously been the case, I am concerned it may still be too difficult for interested citizens to obtain this information.

Perhaps, if the stats were attached to the CAPS agenda as a separate item, they would show up when people do a website search?

Respectfully,

Greg Fowler.

From: Gregory Fowler
To: “Lysynski, Heather”
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 8:50:07 PM
Subject: Re: Police & Fire Stats

Ms Lysynski,

Thanks for that. When you say that they will be attached to the CSCP report, do you mean from now on? That would be a welcome development. And if you don’t mind, an additional inquiry… I couldn’t help but notice that there’s no mention in the police stats about traffic incidents involving pedestrians, and I wonder if somebody could offer me some explanation?

Greg Fowler

From: “Lysynski, Heather”
To: Gregory Fowler
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 8:47:39 AM
Subject: FW:

Hi Mr. Fowler,

I have received the Police and Fire Statistics and have enclosed them in this e-mail for you. They will also be attached to the Community Safety & Crime Prevention Advisory Committee Report.

Heather Lysynski
Committee Secretary
City Clerk’s Office
519-661-2500 x 4856

Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 17:22:51 -0500 (EST)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
To: “CJBK – Morris and Megan”
CC: “Office of the Police Chief”
Subject: Re: Crime Stats & Police Posturing

Hello Laura,

As much as I appreciate your efforts, you’ve not managed to resolve anything for me.

In the first place, the link that Officer Arbing provided simply presents annual totals of criminal charges, it does not list the individual charges in log fashion. In other words, we are prisoner to having things filtered through the police department, rather than having the raw data with which to form our own conclusions. I thought that my previous email had explained that. Moreover, what of non-criminal charges? For instance, I’m particularly concerned about red-light runners, and the increasing frequency of that behaviour. After years of publicly criticising the police with respect to their inferior enforcement of those kinds of offences, I’m not satisfied with the fact that there’s so little opportunity for public oversight.

As I told you previously, I had no problem finding the Media Releases section of their main page. However, again, it’s clear to me that it’s not a comprehensive list of all charges laid. In fact, I’m somewhat sceptical if it’s even a list of all criminal charges laid. My perception on seeing it was that it was simply a lame PR attempt at pretending to communicate with the community.

Sincerely,

Greg.

Hi Greg,

I spoke with Jeff Arbing at the London Police today regarding your previous e-mail and your question: “When persons have been charged with a crime, is that not public information? Do we not have a right to access it?”

Answer: Yes you do have access it. Please click on this link http://police.london.ca/Publications/CrimeStats.htm. You will find all of the stats on criminal offences laid here in london. You can also go to the main homepage http://police.london.ca/Default.htm and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find MEDIA RELEASES…. in these releases the London Police release the latest offences and the names of those charged.

I have forwarded your previous e-mail on to the London Police

Laura

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