Tickets…and More Tickets: A Case Study of the Enforcement of the Ontario Safe Streets Act

Tickets…and More Tickets: A Case Study of the Enforcement of the Ontario Safe Streets Act

Anti-social behaviour statutes are proliferating in western societies, yet little statistical analysis has been conducted on their enforcement patterns and trends, particularly in Canada. A study of the Ontario Safe Streets Act enforcement in Toronto shows a 2,000 percent increase in tickets from 2000 to 2010, with most being issued downtown to homeless individuals. Further research shows that this increase is not the result of increasing crime rates, increases in aggressive solicitation practices, widespread complaints from businesses or the public, or police responses to gangs, nor is it for revenue generation. We argue such anti-social behaviour statutes are a misguided public policy response to the visibility of homelessness.

JOURNAL: Canadian Public Policy
VOLUME: 39
ISSUE: 4
PAGES: 541-558
PUBLICATION DATE: 2013
LOCATION: Ontario, Canada