According to a newly released Statistics Canada report, Saskatchewan’s two major cities have some of the highest crime severity numbers in Canada.
The report which was released on Monday, shows police-reported crime statistics for 2018. Regina had the second-highest crime severity index (CSI) in the country, behind Lethbridge, Alta.
Winnipeg came in third, followed by Saskatoon.
Regina saw a 10 per cent jump in its CSI from 2017 to 2018, to 9,521 incidents per 100,000 population. It’s crime rate also saw an increase, up eight per cent over 2017.
“We are a safe city there is no question about that,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said. “We do our surveys with the public and they continue to say they feel safe in the city, they are happy with the work being done by the police service all the time – but we have challenges.”
Across the country, crimes involving crystal meth continue to climb with 13,603 offences in 2018, a year-over-year increase of 13 per cent and continues an upward trend starting in 2008. Something that continues to impact Regina as well.
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When ranked against the 34 other census metropolitan areas in Canada, Regina saw annual increases to robbery, break and enter, theft under $5,000 and motor vehicle theft.
“The type of people stealing cars has dramatically changed over the last decade — or even two decades — where it usually used to be predominately young offenders stealing cars and now our average car theft is committed by a male between the ages of 25 to 40.
“We know that from the stats a lot of those are associated very strongly to either gangs, drugs and most times will some implication or involvement with a firearm.”
Despite the rising crime rates in 2018, crime overall in Regina has decreased over a 10-year period.
“Over the 10-year trend those numbers have been going down,” Fougere said. “When you have guns, gangs and drugs on the streets — and we’ve seen that trend for quite some time — it’s a challenge and that’s reflected not just in Regina, but right across the country as well.”
The CSI is calculated using the crime rate, which measures the number of crimes per 100,000 population, and the severity of those crimes.
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