The report on provincial crime statistics within Muskoka in 2022 was delivered to the District of Muskoka Finance and Corporate Services Committee on July 19, 2023.
It indicates that there are three types of Provincial offences that form part of the crime statistics. Part 1 are infractions that result in a ticket or a fine. Part 2 are parking infractions and Part 3 are infractions that involve a summons to court. Part 3 infractions represent more serious criminal offences.
The report shows that Part 3 crimes increased by 68 per cent between 2021 and 2022, signaling a significant increase in more serious Provincial offences in Muskoka.
According to the report, while serious crimes show a large increase, traffic offences were at record lows. Part 1 infractions decreased by 37 per cent overall, representing a historic low for the Central East Region.
Ontario has seen a 7 per cent increase in charge volume between 2021 and 2022. According to the report, much of this change is the result of speed enforcement cameras, but it also states that there are large differences in charge volume changes between regions.
On top of these statistics, the presentation also included concerning statistics on the court system in Muskoka. Prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the average time to trial for a person in Muskoka was 5.6 months. Post-pandemic the time to trial is 14.8 months. The increased time-to-trial statistics are the result of pandemic court shutdowns, backlogs, and more complex virtual court proceedings which require all parties to have access to internet devices and services.
In response to these backlogs, there have been attempts to increase docket size and to streamline the virtual court process. The hybrid court system, which allows both in-person and virtual hearings, has allowed for more flexibility in completing judicial business. It was successfully implemented in early 2023. While this has shown to be effective it has led to increased costs and stress on court resources, according to the report.
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