By Kalinowski, Tim on July 23, 2019.
Statistics Canada has listed Lethbridge first among cities in its national 2018 Police-Reported Crime Severity Index report.
The CSI measures changes in the level of severity of crime in Canada from year to year. The report released Monday morning shows Lethbridge is at 137.0 (out of a baseline measurement of 100)- the highest on the index overall among Canadian cities over 100,000 for its increase in crime and severity from 2017 to 2018.
But the report also reveals, like the Maclean’s study which ranked Lethbridge as one of its Top 20 most dangerous Canadian cities in its report released earlier this year, that Lethbridge’s problems mainly stem from the large number of crimes associated with the drug trade.
Mayor Chris Spearman said it was not a list any city wants to be first on, but Lethbridge was not unique in facing an increase in drug related crime compared to other cities in Western Canada.
“As we grow, and as this drug issue has become more omnipresent, people have to take care,” Spearman stated. “They have to lock their houses. They have to lock their vehicles. They have to take proper precautions to protect themselves against petty crime and theft.”
Spearman expressed confidence in the Lethbridge Police Service, and the steps it was taking to respond.
“If I could say anything to the public, we on council did respond to the police (budget requests) last November and these are 2018 stats. We are hoping there will be improvements in 2019 with more uniformed presence on the ground in the city through the Watch and through the CPO program supplementing existing police forces.”
The Lethbridge Police Service refused to comment on the report Monday, stating it needed time to review the findings before responding.
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Highest Cities listed on StatsCan Police-Reported Crime Severity Index
Thunder Bay- 94.3