Red Deer is the 10th most dangerous place in Canada, based on overall crime, according to rankings by Maclean’s magazine.
Maclean’s has come out with its annual ranking of Canada’s dangerous places, based on the crime severity index in 2018, the most recent data available.
The numbers show the city’s crime severity index is 170, compared with the Canadian average of 75.01.
The same rankings last year put the city in sixth spot, with the crime severity at 222. Three years ago, Red Deer was ranked second. In 2017, the city was ranked fifth.
The numbers have come down significantly over the years, said Red Deer RCMP Insp. Gerald Grobmeier Tuesday.
“You have to look closely to the amount our crime severity index dropped,” he said. “That’s a significant drop in one year. That’s unheard of to have that big of a drop.
“We usually get a few percentage points at a time, so for it to drop that much – over 50 points – is significant.”
The violent crime severity index — the default index on the Maclean’s website – puts Red Deer in the 37th spot in all of Canada, Grobmeier said.
Maclean’s documents a two per cent increase in crime reported across the county, Grobmeier said.
“We had a major drop of about 20 per cent year over year, and the rest of Canada saw about two per cent increase, so we significantly went against the trends compared to the rest of the country.”
Grobmeier agrees with those who believe 10th is still a pretty high rank for crime.
“We’re happy with the trend that the numbers are going down, but we’re not done, we’re not done our work,” he said.
Grobmeier said there are two sides to crime in the city. The police look at the enforcement side of things, but there’s also the root causes of issues.
“We need to work on the next step. So, what’s the next step after we put people in jail? That’s giving them the proper wraparound services they need so they can clean up their life,” he said, referring to the problem of drug addictions.
The overall crime ranking puts Wetaskiwin in the fourth spot in Canada. North Battleford, Sask., Thompson, Man., and Quesnel, B.C., are in the top three, respectively.
Portage la Prairie, Man., Prince Albert, Sask., Williams Lake, B.C., Selkirk, Man., and Grande Prairie are ranked fifth through ninth, respectively.