Prince Rupert ranks in top 20 of magazine’s ‘Canada’s Most Dangerous Places’ list

Assaults the main contributing factor to rise in ranking

Prince Rupert has rocketed from being Canada’s 223rd most dangerous city in 2018 to No. 11 in 2019.

According to Maclean’s Magazine annual Crime Severity Index (CSI) report, released this week, Prince Rupert, which recorded a significant drop in its CSI to 122 in 2016, crept back up to a CSI of 134 in 2017 and 140 in 2018, this despite a drop in homicides from two in 2017 to none in 2018.

The main contributor to the sharp rise in the city’s CSI was an increase in assaults from 245 in 2017, to 319 in 2018.

These are some of the other factors that drove up Prince Rupert’s CSI:

* Sexual assault – up from 18 in 2017, to 22 in 2018

* Breaking and entering – up from 36 in 2017, to 56 in 2018

* Fraud – up from 37 in 2017, to 60 in 2018

* Cocaine trafficking or production – up from two in 2017, to 12 in 2018.

No crimes involving youth were reported in 2018, making it two years in a row. Impaired driving dropped from 47 in 2017 to 46 in 2018. There were no firearms’ offences reported in 2018 either.

Terrace suffered a similar fate — jumping from being Canada’s 79th most dangerous city in 2018 to the eighth most dangerous this year.

Terrace’s CSI rose from 134 in 2017 to 166 in 2018, despite a decrease in the number of reported assaults from 213 in 2017 to 187 in 2018.

These are some of the factors that drove Terrace’s CSI to its new heights:

* Homicide – no homicides in 2017, one in 2018

* Sexual assaults – up from 13 in 2017, to 22 in 2018

* Breaking and entering – up from 47 in 2017, to 53 in 2018

* Fraud – up from 53 in 2017, to 76 in 2018.

Despite fears that the legalization of cannabis in 2018 would drive up the rate of impaired drivers caught behind the wheel, Terrace only registered an increase of three incidents, from 45 in 2017 to 48 in 2018. Youth crime is down, from four incidents in 2017 to two in 2018.

Top spot in the Canada-wide 2019 CSI rankings went to Thompson, Manitoba, with a CSI of 570. Last year the top ranking city was Wetaskiwin in Alberta.

What IS the CSI?

According to Statistics Canada (StatsCan), the Crime Severity Index tracks changes in the severity of police-reported crime.

StatsCan takes into consideration the number of crimes as well as the seriousness of those crimes to generate the CSI.

To do this, crimes are weighted according to their severity – more serious crimes are assigned higher weights, less serious offences lower weights. For example, a murder would receive a weight 1,000 times higher than a case of shoplifting.

The weight consists of two parts – the number of people convicted and sentenced to time in prison, multiplied by the average time they spend in prison.

Each crime receives the same weight regardless of the specific outcome of any individual case – for example, all robberies reported by police carry the same weight in the CSI. The weights are calculated using the five most recent years of available sentencing data.

To finally calculate the CSI, the number of crimes is multiplied by the weight for that crime, the final figure divided by the corresponding population total. To make the CSI easier to interpret, it is standardized to 100 for Canada.

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Prince Rupert’s ranking on Macleans Magazine’s website. (Image macleans.ca)

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