Crime in the Danforth Avenue has been rising for the past few years and is higher now than ever.
Different categories of crimes have gone up these past few months, compared to the beginning of 2021, according to the major crime indicator statistics from Toronto Police.
In particular, assault, auto theft and robbery during January and February have risen from 111 last year to 147 year.
Some local residents have noticed this trend also.
“Ever since the new year started, I’ve felt a change in the neighbourhood,” Maria Persaud says.
She finds it hard to explain, she says.
“The neighbourhood used to be so safe when I grew up here as a kid, but in these recent years and as I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed that it’s had a change in the atmosphere,” Persaud says. “I hope it gets better soon, but I don’t know what can be done.”
With assault jumping from 44 instances last year to 64 this year, it’s hard for residents to look forward to any positive change in the future.
“A lot of bad things are happening to good people here and it’s really a shame to see,” Persaud says. “A friend of mine was recently assaulted in the neighbourhood and, it’s a scary thing to hear and even scarier to be involved in. People in those situations just freeze.”
The police have had a lot of issues to deal with as the year progress, but they urge everyone to do their part in keeping others safe and to call them when they see something,.
“If your life, or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, get to a place of safety as soon as you can and call 911,” Const. Laura Brabant states.
The Danforth has been a local attraction in East York for years now. With the sudden rise of major crimes in the recent years, locals are thinking of ways to lighten up the neighbourhood for the visitors and future residents.
“It’s been on my mind for the past few weeks now, ever since that happened to my friend. I was thinking maybe starting a block watch or something, if that’s still a thing,” Persaud says.
“I was recently watching a show where they had to bring in a neighbourhood block watch and I was wondering if the same could be done here on the Danforth,” she says. “It would definitely help bring the people here together.”