Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Some Stats Should Never be Collected

Yesterday Statistics Canada reported that 'hate crimes' in Canada are surging increasing in 42% in 2009 compared to 2008 after a 35% increase the previous year. Worst of all the statistics suggest that the southwestern Ontario cities of Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph are the country's most heinous offenders:

In 2009, four census metropolitan areas accounted for most of the increase in police-reported hate crime, led by Ottawa, where the number of incidents increased by 83, Toronto (+79), Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+62) and MontrĂ©al (+61).

Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo reported the highest rate of police-reported hate crimes at just under 18 incidents for every 100,000 population. This city's rate was followed closely by Guelph, Peterborough and Ottawa.

I can see the education campaigns now as the diversity police drive an hour west on the 401 to make sure we all know what terrible people we are. But wait there were 1,437 incidents reported, barely 0.005% nationally and these are reported incidents not convictions. Stats Can notes:
The number of hate crimes in a given area can be influenced by the public's willingness to report incidents to police as well as local police service practices and awareness campaigns.
That's an understatement. The concept of 'hate crime' is so completely subjective meaningful statistics are simply not possible. Look at Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph, both cities have big university populations that are no doubt primed to take offense at real or imagined infractions.


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