Red Deer listed as Canada’s sixth most dangerous city, according to Maclean’s

Context needed when exploring the numbers, say police

Red Deer has again made a national list as one of the top most dangerous cities in Canada.

Every year, Maclean’s magazine releases a ranking of dangerous cities in the nation based on many types of criteria.

In terms of Canada’s Most Dangerous Places, Red Deer came in at number six under the ‘all crime’ category.

In terms of violent crime, the City ranks at number 17, and in the breaking and entering category, Red Deer is in the third spot.

The City has also landed at number eight in the robbery category.

In terms of the five-year change in Crime Severity Index, Red Deer comes in at number two according to Maclean’s.

But according to Red Deer RCMP Insp. Gerald Grobmeier, context is needed when looking through the rankings and the specific numbers.

“Our true ranking in the Crime Severity Index nationally is number six,” he said. “What Maclean’s has done this year is taken the increase over the last five years and ranked the cities that way. But they haven’t made it very clear that that is what they have done,” he said.

“They have us as number two because of our rate of increase over the last five years, however, our Crime Severity Index, our true Crime Severity Index number, shows as number six. And that has dropped over the last three years. We’ve gone from two to five to six in 2017,” he said, acknowledging local RCMP aren’t exactly pleased with those numbers either.

“But we are trending the right way, and our increases have really slowed over the last few years as well,” he said.

“If you look at between 2016 and 2017, yes there was an increase but it was pretty small compared to some of the jumps we had earlier,” he said. “We’ve seen some fantastic numbers for 2018,” he said.

“For the first nine months of the year, and in reality we started to see these changes in the last quarter of 2017, but for robberies from this past January to the end of September, our robberies have decreased by 29 per cent.

“Our ‘persons’ crimes have decreased by seven per cent. Our break and enters have decreased by 13 per cent. Our thefts of motor vehicles have decreased 37 per cent. Our thefts under $5,000 have decreased by 22 per cent, and our total property crime has decreased by 31 per cent and our total Criminal Code has decreased by 25 per cent,” he said.

Grobmeier said that it’s important to also note that citizens are actually reporting a bit more. “Our call volume has gone up by over three per cent, so it shows people in Red Deer haven’t stopped calling in. They are calling in more than they ever have in the past,” he said. “And we are still seeing these significant decreases.”

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