It’s a dubious honour that doesn’t surprise anyone living in Manitoba.
National news magazine Macleans has released their annual list of Canada’s Most Dangerous Places, and Thompson once again tops the list for violent crime.
Portage la Prairie ranks third, Selkirk comes in at seventh.
Winnipeg places in the Top 20 at number 13.
All four cities have seen their crime severity index rise year-over-year.
The report isn’t news to Manitoba — Macleans uses Statistics’ Canada’s Crime Severity Index to rank cities, and the latest numbers were released in July.
The report also isn’t news to Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook, which has been ranked No. 1 for the past three years for violent crime, and No. 2 for crime overall.
But she says the ranking doesn’t reflect living in Thompson.
“We’ve had many issues, especially with youth and break and enters and actually during the summer it escalated to some machete attacks,” she told 680 CJOB.
The mayor chalks up the rise in violence to gang initiation, noting some kids as young as 10 are on the streets and participating.
The province of Manitoba announced $2.1 million in spending Tuesday for a group in Thompson called Street Reach, a youth outreach program that connects with disadvantaged kids and guides them home, said Smook.
“When Street Reach is in Thompson, for the two or three days they are, our youth crime and youth out on the streets is down anywhere from 70 to 85 per cent.”
Manitoba itself topped the provincial crime index earlier this year. The crime index was up 5.7 per cent to 125.76, and violent crime was up 5.65 per cent to 169.80.
Manitoba also had the highest in homicide rate for provinces, with 55 homicides in 2018 and a rating of 4.07. In the territories, percentage ratings are significantly higher due to much smaller populations.