Penticton’s rising property crime has put the city on the map, but not in a good way, with its inclusion in the Maclean’s annual list of Canada’s 20 most dangerous places.
The news magazine uses data from Statistics Canada to rank Canadian cities by their Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures all police-reported crime and “takes into consideration both the volume and seriousness of offences.” Based on the 2018 data released on July 23, 2019, Penticton is ranked as the 19th most dangerous city with a CSI of 145.74, while the national average is 75.01.
The CSI breaks the reported crimes down into four categories – homicide, assault & bodily harm, theft & property crime, drug offences and youth crime – and then compares actual incidents to the rate per 100,000 population.
This is the second time Penticton has been included in the list, ranking as the 16th most dangerous Canadian city in 2018. According to the Stats Canada data, Penticton’s CSI has climbed 39.87 points in five years.
Although Penticton sits at 1,119.91 for its breaking and entering rate, which more than doubles the national average of 431.24, the CSI shows this is a decrease from previous years. The city is also ranked 104th out of 237 cities due to its violent CSI of 70, which is just below the national average of 82.44.
Last year, former Penticton RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager criticized the CSI as a comparison tool because it “does not factor in location, demographics, industry, unemployment, medical concerns such as mental health, homelessness, addiction rates, educational priorities, etc.”
Furthermore, De Jager pointed out that a numerical comparison is “misleading” because “crime is not proportional to population.”
“A single prolific offender in a smaller community who goes on a crime spree will have a radical affect on crime rates during that period, whereas the exact same spree will not even register in Vancouver or Toronto,” said De Jager in a prior interview with Western News staff.
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