There’s a perplexing – perhaps alarming – statistic in new national crime figures released today by Statistics Canada. The numbers show that Kingston, in eastern Ontario, now has the highest sexual assault rate of the 33 biggest Canadian urban centres in StatsCan’s crime survey. The sexual assault rate in Kingston (the number of crimes reported to police, factored for population) skyrocketed by 34 per cent from 2011 to 2012. The rate in Kingston for 2012 is 97. Winnipeg, now the most violent city in Canada overall, based on the latest violent crime severity index, is second to Kingston in sexual assault rate at 91.
So what does it mean that Quesnel, a tiny city of about 10,000 people in the Cariboo District of central British Columbia, has the most severe violent crime in Canada? That dubious distinction is documented in this new ranking of 208 Canadian municipalities with populations of 10,000 or more, released this week by Statistics Canada. It is based on police-reported crime for 2009. The unwelcome honour bothers Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom, but she doesn’t believe it means her community is unsafe.
Winnipeg, Manitoba has snatched from Regina, Saskatchewan the title of Canada’s (big city) violent crime capital. New figures released today by Statistics Canada show Winnipeg’s violent crime severity index is 187, double the national figure of 93.7. The violent crime severity index measures the severity of crimes reported to police. Among roughly 210 Canadian communities with populations of 10,000 or more, the centre with the most severe violent crime index isn’t a big city.
We love lists. They appear to bring order to a disordered world. They promise to simplify complexity. They seem to help us understand the convoluted. Now Statistics Canada has given us a whopper of a list: A tote board that unspools from 1 to 229, where Number 1 is the Canadian community where violent crime is most severe.
There’s a big problem with the new scheme to count crimes in Canada. The country’s official number crunching agency, Statistics Canada, unveiled the crime severity index today. It’s the first serious revision to the country’s sanctioned, national crime tracking system in roughly half a century.