Toronto is a large, diverse city and college campuses reflect that. But according to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report , incidents reported to Toronto Police Service have dropped by seven per cent from last year.
By Karen Nickel, Staff Reporter
Students coming to college (and their families) can have anxiety about safety and security while attending classes.
Anxiety is understandable, Toronto is a large, diverse metropolis and college campuses reflect that. But according to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report , incidents reported to Toronto Police Service have dropped by seven per cent from last year. This has been the case for the last six years.
While these decreases are reassuring, crime and violence does happen.
George Brown College (GBC) has multiple campuses and a highly diverse student population spread across many neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto. Each campus has different safety issues associated with it; depending on location and whether they are day or night classes.
GBC recently signed a multi-million dollar contract with Paladin Security which is managed by the college’s Public Safety and Security department. Familiarizing yourself with the locations of campus offices and their emergency numbers is recommended, especially for women.
According to the report Developing a Response to Sexual Violence: A resource guide for Ontario colleges and universities, published by The Ontario Women’s Directorate in January, between 15 and 25 per cent of college and university-aged women have experienced sexual violence.
The guide has many recommendations for stopping sexual violence on school campuses. It provides information on stopping, preventing and responding to sexual violence. Students can read about interrupting violence and violent language and how to respond to survivors of sexual violence.
The Toronto Police Service website has a “crime map” for Toronto neighbourhoods specifying the places where crimes occurred and what the crime was for the past month. It might be helpful to see if there is a pattern in the neighbourhoods you frequent.
If you have experienced assault, harassment, bullying, sexual violence, or partner violence talk to someone about it, either on campus or off.
View Crime near George Brown College in a larger map
Crime map near George Brown College campuses compiled by Mick Sweetman / The Dialog
Some safety tips:
• Don’t focus on texting when walking, especially at night
• Walk in lit areas
• Keep music down to hear what happens around you
• Wait to give out contact and personal information until you have gotten to know the person
• Program police and campus emergency numbers into your phone
• Speak up if you see, or hear something happening to others if safe to do so
• Don’t study in isolated areas.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Paladin Security managed campus safety. Campus safety is managed by the college’s Public Safety and Security department with Paladin Security personnel subcontracted by the college.