Posted by Phil Andrews
The Mercury's Chris Seto has produced several interesting stories through an analysis of a database of two recent years of service calls fielded by the Guelph Police.
Last year, his work with that data highlighted such things as the street with the highest volume of noise complaints in the city and how much time officers were tied up dealing with public urination incidents. Those stories did a great job of offering new, statistically reliable context to better understand different matters occupying police that were of interest to the public as well. Feedback on the reporting was positive as well.
It has been interesting to appraise the feedback received in relation to his latest report using this data. Seto just produced a story that shows 80 per cent of domestic assault-type calls come from the north side of Guelph. This report presented some challenges in locating key public sector stakeholders willing to offer comment on this statistical picture. It has also led to some readers questioning the purpose of such analysis and whether doing work such as this might stigmatize an area in the city. A few letters to the editor are soon to appear on this subject.
By way of contrast, another largely anecdotal, recent, Mercury report on policing domestic violence received no such criticism.