The Winnipeg police's annual crime stats are in, and they paint a modestly optimistic picture of the state of Winnipeg's overall numbers.
Winnipeg crime trends:
14% drop in crime
13% drop in sexual assaults
130% increase in sexual assault with a weapon
13% drop in violent crimes
37% drop in arson
27% drop in robberies
North End resident Annette Champion-Taylor, who has spent the last 10 years trying to make her neighbourhood safer. said she has noticed things change over the last few years.
"North-Enders have been tired for a long time with the way things were going," she said. "Now the bar has been raised and will continue to rise."
Winnipeg police released the report Tuesday, which gives a statistical breakdown of crime trends in the city for 2013.
Police Chief Devon Clunis said they are focusing their efforts in areas downtown and in the North End and the numbers are heading in the right direction.
"It's not one specific initiative. I can use the analogy of, you know, it's not one silver bullet or anything along those lines," said Clunis. "But it's getting the entire community involved with many small initiatives that's built to this particular result that we've seen," Clunis said at a news conference in Central Park.
While overall crime rates are decreasing, Winnipeg's numbers are still above the national average in some categories.
Notable crime trends
One low point recorded was a spike in sexual assaults with a weapon. There were 23 recorded instances in 2013 compared to just 10 in 2012 – amounting to a 130 per cent overall increase.
Despite that increase, overall sexual assaults declined 13 per cent from 689 in 2012 to 602 in 2013, which is nine per cent lower than the five-year average.
Some of the more positive patterns observed included a 14 per cent drop in overall crime, something the police said is 27 per cent lower than the five-year average.
Violent crimes fell by 13 per cent (21 per cent lower than the five-year average), and a 17 per cent decrease in property crimes (33 per cent lower than the five-year average) was also noted.
Arson also declined, from 422 instances in 2012 to 266 in 2013 – a decrease of 37 per cent.
Robberies, too, saw a drop in numbers, from 1,822 in 2012 to 1,335 in 2013.
Read the full report below.