Thompson-Okanagan’s largest cities score high on Canadian list of crime rates | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Thompson-Okanagan’s largest cities score high on Canadian list of crime rates

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October 30, 2020 - 6:00 PM

When it comes to crime, B.C. cities rank up there with some of the worst cities in the country.

And, when it comes to B.C., Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops are right up there as well.

Statistics Canada lists Penticton as number 10 on its Crime Severity Index of 324 cities with more than 10,000 residents in Canada in 2019. It joins Prince George and Williams Lake in the top 10.

There are eight B.C. cities in the top 20 rankings for the most severe crime in the country.

Vernon sat at number 23, Kelowna at 33 and Kamloops at 45.

While not explaining why the Okanagan, for example, has such a high ranking when it comes to crime, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran stressed that crime is not just a policing matter.

“Community safety cannot rest on the shoulders of police, alone,” he said in a news release. “A multi-pronged preventative approach is needed to reduce crime and improve community sense of safety in our city.

“RCMP need support from other agencies to deal with repeat offenders. The criminal justice and health systems need to address the underlying conditions that lead to crime, including addictions, homelessness and poverty.”

The Crime Severity Index combines the number of crimes with severity. Canada gets 79.45 points and Thompson, Manitoba tops the list at 501.8.

The scores drop off rapidly after Thompson. Penticton, for exampled, scored 233 points.

The safest city in the country was Huronia West (Springwater) in Ontario with 20 points.

It’s not all bad news for the Okanagan. Summerland and Lake Country sat well down in the rankings.

Here’s how the region stacked up in terms of points. Rankings are in brackets:

  • Penticton – 233.11 (10)
  • Vernon – 169.46 (23)
  • Kelowna – 143.45 (33)
  • Kamloops  – 125.92 (45)
  • Summerland – 64.18 (163)
  • Lake Country – 52.04 (201)

The rankings are slightly different when it comes to violent versus non-violent crimes.

All six of the region’s cities score lower in violent crime than overall crime. Penticton, for example, drops to 19th place on the violent crime list from 10th for overall crimes.

Summerland and Lake Country also moved down the rankings by 73 and 57 places respectively.

In all cases, the four biggest cities moved up the rankings both in severity scores and positions compared to other cities in 2019 versus 2018.

Penticton moved from 19th place in 2018 to 10th place in 2019 even though the severity of its crime jumped by 90 points.

Vernon moved from 28th to 23rd, Kelowna moved 39th to 33rd while Kamloops went from 59th to 45th.

As for big city crime, Winnipeg was ranked 34th, Vancouver 50th, Surrey 62nd, Calgary 77th Montreal 128th, and Toronto 147th in 2019.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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