The crime rate for North Battleford sees little change as the city once again sits at the top of the Crime Severity Index, according to Police Reported Crime statistics released by Statistics Canada.
The overall crime rate dropped by 0.3 per cent, however, the CSI increased by 1.9 per cent from 364.51 in 2016 to 371.58 in 2017 due to the number of Break and Enter and Mischief complaints. Inspector John Sutherland says there’s a lot of complex social issues that lead into the high crime rate and the top two are social addictions and mental health issues.
“We’re not going to arrest our ways out of these issues. You have to stop the cycle of using the police to arrest and incarcerate people that have addictions and mental health issues and to that end, we’re working very closely with our partners in provincial government and non-government organizations to keep increasing our efforts and working on what we’re doing to address those issues.”
The violent CSI was up almost 14 per cent to 404.56 from 355.45 in 2016 mainly because of Robbery and firearm-related incidents.
“We find out very quickly that those are generally amongst folks that are known to one another, that aren’t strangers to one another, that lead a very high-risk lifestyle and or have social addictions/mental health issues. Those high number of calls are from a small segment of the population that we deal with that have those issues,” says Sutherland.
In Lloydminster, the CSI increased from 153.89 to 164.79 and the violent CSI decreased from 89.42 in 2016 to 85.42 in 2017. However, the non-violent CSI increased by 169.53 to 192.95. The city ranks number 13 on the overall CSI among communities with a population of 10,000.
Provincially, Saskatchewan’s crime rate dropped 3 per cent with a CSI of 140.5, whereas in Alberta the CSI increased to 110.1 from 102.5 in 2016.