Youth grievance calls spike in 2021, different tendencies stay flat at Guelph Police Companies

Youth complaints were up nearly 72 percent in 2021, shows the service’s annual report

Guelph Police Services (GPS) calls for service annual five-year trends report shows the number of calls was relatively unchanged from 2020 to 2021.

Calls relating to youth complaints, however, had the highest variance as substantially more calls were recorded in 2021 with 328 calls compared to the 191 calls seen in 2020.

“Youth complaints increased by nearly 72 per cent year-to-year, a change which may be again attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic; youth were not in school for long periods of time and lost constructive outlets such as sports and community events, which coupled with a large portion of the workforce working from home to be able to observe youth engaging in concerning activity, may have resulted in more calls for service,” reads the report, which was presented to the Guelph Police Services Board Thursday.

In 2021 a total of 72,565 calls for service were reported in the GPS annual report, slightly down from the 72,608 calls in 2020.

“Total calls for service were almost unchanged between 2020 and 2021 and the distribution of calls for service by neighborhood was stable between 2020 and 2021, likely due to the continuing COVID-19 driving down demand for police services.” the calls of service report reads.

The five-year graph shows the calls for services have increased for 2017 when 67,674 calls for services were reported.

In 2019 the five-year trend peaked at 75,214 calls for service, before dipping the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GPS zone N1 – which comprises the east side of Guelph – was once again the highest zone in terms of calls for service with roughly 30 per cent of the total calls for service.

The three other zones within the GPS jurisdiction continued in the same manner as the four zones all reported calls similar to calls the previous year.

Priority one calls, which are classified as immediate, did see a slight increase from 1,004 in 2020 to 1,116 in 2021.

According to the report, robbery and alarm calls decreased while disturbance, personal injury motor vehicle collision, fire and offensive weapon calls increased.

The GPS report said the median priority one response time was slightly faster in 2021 becoming the fastest response time in the last five years.

Response times decreased in three of the four zones, with N3 – Guelph’s south end – being the only zone not recording a decrease with a response time 39 seconds slower in 2021.

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