Former Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis weathered a lot of ridicule when he talked about the role of prayer in fighting crime.
Well, look who's laughing now?
Winnipeggers have taken his words to heart, and they're praying up a storm.
People are praying they don't get shot. Or murdered. Or robbed at work. Or mugged on the street. Or have their cars stolen.
A perusal of the police department's Crimestat page shows the dismal legacy of Clunis' hug-a-thug social work policing, which has been embraced whole-heartedly by the Winnipeg police commission and new police chief Danny Smythe.
The stats compare this year to last, New Year's Day to April 15:
Homicides, 9 this year, 6 last.
Shootings, up 82 percent. A whopping 31 this year, 17 last.
Commercial robberies, up 53 percent to 150 this year, 98 last.
Muggings, 336 this year, 261 last, an increase of 29 percent.
Commercial break-ins, 355 compared to 245 in '16. (A 45% increase.)
Residential break-ins, only up 8 percent. 500 compared to 465.
Motor vehicle theft, you know, the "success" story that's regularly trotted out by police and pundits alike, up 34 percent year over year. 484 this year, 362 last.
And the good news? Reported sexual assaults down from 36 to 28. And attempted car theft down 15%.
Of course, these are exactly the offences that people don't report.
Take the nine crimes highlighted on Crimestat, add up the reported incidents, and the total shows crime is up post-Clunis by 21 percent.
Somebody call a social worker. We need a hug.