Stats about crime can not be looked at in a vacuum

According to this local newspaper, the Red Deer Advocate, our fine city has some serious crime issues, compared to the other major cities in Alberta. Following are sections of the published article: “Red Deer’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) is higher than Alberta’s other four major cities, recently released Statistics Canada information reveals.”

According to this local newspaper, the Red Deer Advocate, our fine city has some serious crime issues, compared to the other major cities in Alberta. Following are sections of the published article:

“Red Deer’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) is higher than Alberta’s other four major cities, recently released Statistics Canada information reveals.”

“The Crime Severity Index measures the volume and severity of crimes reported to police and is standardized, using the number 100 as the base, for the year 2006. It is calculated using all Criminal Code violations including offences like stolen vehicles, traffic and drug violations, and federal statutes”

“According to Statistics Canada, the overall CSI for 2015 for Red Deer is 182 (numbers have been rounded off).”

“This compares with Edmonton at 112, Lethbridge at 109, and Calgary and Medicine Hat both at 77. Alberta’s CSI is 102 and Canada overall is 70.”

“When looking specifically at violent crime, Statistics Canada shows that index for Red Deer up by almost 24 per cent (146 in 2015 from 118 in 2014). It had actually declined each year from 2012 to 2014, before increasing last year. There were no homicides in 2014. There were two in 2015.”

The news for Red Deer has not been good recently with reports on declining building permits as announced by our city;

“Overall permit values decline in June”

Although commercial building permits remained strong in June, the total value of all permits dropped from $24.6 million in June 2015 to $13 million last month.

Throw in the news about declining population in Red Deer compared to the continued growth of neighbouring communities like Blackfalds and one should start to wonder.

Each issue taken individually, and the story seems not so severe and worrisome but collectively they should be piercing our minds’ alarm bells.

Our inclination is to focus on an individual symptom, disregarding other symptoms but perhaps we should look at all symptoms collectively and determine root causes. The root cause may be something beyond our control, but maybe it is something we can control. We do not know until we look, would you not agree?

​Garfield Marks​,

Red Deer