THUNDER BAY – CRIME – Thunder Bay is ranked sixth by Statistics Canada in terms of the cities with the most crime. The report for 2013 Crime reported to police puts Regina as Canada’s most dangerous city, followed by Saskatoon, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. Thunder Bay’s overall crime rate according to Stats Canada dropped by ten percent.
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs states, “I’m happy! Not good enough! We still have a lot of work to do!”
Hobbs, adds, “First Nation Chiefs and NAN need to come to the table and help the City with these issues. Perhaps the Chief of Police has to collapse some specialized units and re-deploy his staff so more officers are on the front lines”.
Stats Canada reports that for all municipalities except Edmonton, crime rates dropped. In Edmonton crime remained the same.
Overall Stats Canada show that Canadian police services reported just over 1.8 million criminal incidents (Criminal Code offences excluding traffic) in 2013, down approximately 132,000 from the previous year.
Most offences were down in 2013.
The decline in the CSI was specifically attributable to declines in breaking and entering and robbery. Decreases in some of the less serious but very frequent offences, such as theft of $5,000 or under and mischief, also contributed to the drop in the CSI.
In 2013, most provinces and territories recorded a decrease in their CSI compared with 2012. However, the CSI increased in Yukon (+6%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+1%).
Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba (-12% each) recorded the largest declines among the provinces and territories.
In most provinces, the decline in the CSI was largely due to fewer breaking and entering incidents. However, in British Columbia, robberies were behind the decline in the CSI. In the Northwest Territories, a decrease in homicides resulted in the drop in the CSI, whereas the decline in Nunavut was due to a large decrease in incidents of mischief.
As in previous years, each territory had a higher CSI than any province. Saskatchewan had the highest CSI among the provinces, while Ontario had the lowest.
However, some offences were up in 2013. In particular, police services reported more incidents of extortion, child pornography, aggravated sexual assault (level 3), sexual violations against children and identity fraud.
For the first time since 1998, the first year for which the CSI was calculated, none of Canada’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs) recorded an increase in its CSI. The CSI was unchanged in Edmonton, while it declined in all other CMAs. The largest decrease compared with 2012 was in Victoria (-17%).
Despite a 7% drop in its CSI, Regina had the highest CSI of any CMA, while Barrie and Guelph had the lowest.
Crime Perceptions in Thunder Bay
Many Thunder Bay residents are feeling that crime has increased, not decreased. The city of Thunder Bay just recorded the fifth homicide of 2014.
For some the severity of crime is an issue with assaults, and other violent crimes happening in the city.
The severity of crime in the city puts an understandable perspective on the issue.
Thunder Bay Police Comment
Thunder Bay Police, commenting on the Statistics Canada report say, “Statistics Canada released the 2013 Crime Severity Index today. The index is weighted based on police reported statistics regarding criminal incidents. The severity of the crime is a contributing factor which Stats Canada uses to determine a Severity Index.
The main Statistics Canada release highlights census metropolitan communities. Thunder Bay census metropolitan includes communities which surround the Thunder Bay Police Service jurisdiction which are patrolled by the O.P.P. The census metropolitan numbers will differ slightly from the Thunder Bay municipal statistics”.