Mayor Gerald Aalbers says he would like to see the city drop off of Maclean’s most dangerous list. Lloydminster ranked as the 12th most dangerous city in Canada which is up one spot from last year.
“It puts it into perspective on a national basis and it always good to see us going down that list and I’d like to be on the bottom of that list or not even on it but it’s the reality of the times we live in.”
A bright spot on the list is the reduction of violent crimes which saw a drop in the rate of most violent crimes. Only the homicide rate of 6.13 was above the national average of 1.76 per 100,000.
“We are moving down the list in violent crimes which makes me feel good. I was out talking to business owners who feel that property crime is a real issue in our city, our community, our rural neighbours. It’s a challenge everywhere and it’s one of the challenges we are facing currently.”
The report lists 231 breaking and entering incidents and 267 fraud incidents in 2018 which falls in the category of property crime. The mayor says the ranking won’t have an immediate impact on their current crime reduction strategy as local RCMP were aware of the numbers beforehand and have already factored them in.
Aalbers says there are several factors at play when it comes to crime in Lloydminster and everyone can play a part in reducing it by taking safety precautions and keeping their vehicles and homes secure.
“Putting up lights and cameras do act as a deterrent. It’s challenging because if someone has a hood on and you can’t see the face but it at least gives the RCMP some idea of who they may be looking for.”
Aalbers says conversations with the RCMP divisional office, the RCMP commissioners office and the province will continue as the city looks to reduce crime. The province plans to expand the roles of several divisions and create a new task force called the RAPID Force to tackle rural crime.
“They are going down but they haven’t disappeared which we would like to see happen but the reality is that people are people. From that perspective, it speaks to some of the other initiatives put on through the RCMP and other organizations in the community to try and help reduce crime as best as we can.”
The study uses data from the 2018 Crime Severity Index which measures all police-reported crime.