July 20, 2016 10:26 am
Updated: July 21, 2016 8:11 am

Saskatoon has highest reported crime rate in country for 2015

WATCH ABOVE: According to Statistics Canada, Saskatoon had the highest overall crime rate and the highest crime severity index in Canada during 2015. Joel Senick explains.

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Saskatoon has the highest reported crime rate in Canada during 2015.

Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that Saskatoon had the highest overall crime rate of any large city in the country.

READ MORE: Violent crime surges in Canada for the first time in 12 years

The city also had the highest crime severity index, which tracks the severity of all crimes as well as the numbers.

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In both cases, rates were up two per cent from 2014.

“I like to think a lot of that has to do with the charges and the curfew checks and the breaches that we do, that’s what’s driving a lot of our numbers for our crime rate,” said police Chief Clive Weighill.

“We’re down about 36 per cent in crime from where we were a decade ago, so I mean we’ve been going the right way … We’ve seen a small blip here in the last couple of years where crime has increased, but we’re working hard on that.”

The city had the third highest violent crime severity index, which measures all police-report violent crime, although that did decline seven per cent from the previous year.

Saskatoon recorded the second highest homicide rate among the cities in 2015, a rate of 2.87 for every 100,000 population.

READ MORE: Sask. youth crime rate higher than any other Canadian province

Statistics Canada also said that there was a six per cent increase in break and enters in Saskatoon, which continues to be the highest rate in the country at 813 for every 100,000 people living in the city.

For the past few months, police have been warning about rising crime rates because of a growing drug trade in Saskatoon. Weighill said the big spike in robberies and theft had to do with methamphetamine addiction and other hard drugs.

“We have a large marginalized population in Saskatoon, that’s part of it. Poverty, poor housing, racism unfortunately lead some people into crime,” Weighill said.

“Until we can get that situation solved, we’re going to see increases in crime in Saskatoon.”

READ MORE: Amount of synthetic drugs in Saskatoon ‘almost unparalleled’: Weighill

Regina had the second highest overall crime rate in the country.

Saskatchewan also had the highest crime rate among the provinces. Statistics Canada reported the crime severity index rose 10 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

Joel Senick contributed to this story

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