250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 3:17 am

The crime of not reporting crime

Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill Phillips 

 Where is Maclean’s magazine when you need them?

Or, more appropriately,  they should be helping setting the story straight by following through.

For years Prince George suffered with the Maclean’s moniker of being Canada’s ‘most dangerous city.’ Many of us who live here scoffed at the title because we knew better and when you looked at how Maclean’s interpreted the data provided by StatsCan, Prince George’s numbers became skewed. Maclean’s stopped running its annual survey of Canada’s ‘most dangerous cities’ a couple of years ago, but the damage has been done.

Prince George still fights the perception of being a dangerous city. Every so often on Facebook someone will repost the Maclean’s story from a couple of years ago and the myth is perpetuated.

StatsCan released the crime numbers this week and they show that crime is decreasing in Prince George. Prince George now has a ranking of 22nd for overall crime severity, down from the 18th place rank given last year at this time.   It has also dropped in terms of violent crime ranking, which is now 23rd, down from 12th a year ago.

So what does that mean in terms of actual crime?

According to StatsCan, Prince George RCMP responded to 11,255 incidents in 2014. There has been a steady decline in the number of incidents over the past five years when, in 2010, they responded to 13,774 incidents. And the fewer incidents likely provide officers more time to work the cases they have since the number of “cleared” incidents has gone from 4,880 in 2010 to 5,868 last year.

That has resulted in police laying 2,385 charges in 2014, up from 2,178 in 2010.

One of the biggies when it came to the Maclean’s ranking was murder. In 2010 we counted four murders. In 2011 and 2012 there was one each year and two in 2013. Last year, however, there were no murders in Prince George. Once again, if Maclean’s was still conducting its review, the fact we had no murders last year would certainly reduce our crime severity index. We should note, however, that we’ve had two murders already this year.

We’ve also gone two years, 2013 and 2014, without any manslaughter charges being laid. Once again, reducing our crime severity index.

Attempted murder charges, however, took a bit of spike in 2012 and 2013 with four charges laid in each of those two years. Last year, however, it had dropped to one.

There were two charges of aggravated sexual assault laid in 2014, down from three charges in 2013, but up from none in 2012.

There were no charges of sexual assault with weapon and/or causing bodily harm in 2014, down from three in 2013.

There were 31 charges of sexual assault laid in 2014, up from 29 in 2013 but down from 37 in 2012.

Somewhat disturbing is that there were 10 sexual assault violations against children, up from three in 2013 but on par with the 10 violations in 2012. Sexual interference charges were also up with seven in 2014 compared with two in 2013 but, once again, down from 2012 when there were nine.

Also disturbing was the fact there were two charges of luring a child via computer in 2014, compared with none in either 2013 or 2012.

Aggravated assaults took a small jump in 2014 with 20 violations, up from 17 in 2013 and six in 2012. Assault with a weapon and/or causing bodily harm also increased with 133 violations in 2014, up from 112 in 2013 and 100 in 2012.

Assaults, however, were down 238 violations in 2014, down from 292 in 2013 and 261 in 2012.

The point is crime numbers in Prince George have been decreasing and even if, comparatively, we’re still at the top end of the scale, the actual number of crimes has been decreasing. And that’s a good thing.

Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com


How can you even look at those stats, and make them sound appealing in any way? The reduction in crime is just a blip, it cycles with the influx of new drug groups and methods. It’s almost embarrassing to post these stats and ask the world for an apology, this town is chock full of all sorts of crime, far too much.


I think the point is that the entire Country, and world is “chock” full of crime.

The fact that PG was picked out as Canada’s most dangerous city for a few years is laughable. Crime happens everywhere, not just PG. For example. when I moved here 4 years ago, I would tell people I was moving to PG and people would freak out about how dangerous it is. Even people who had lived here told me about the crime. I thought that I was going to come here and there would be a stabbing on every street corner, every night. Boy, was I ever happy when I realised that this city is no different from any other city.

There will always be crime, so why can’t we celebrate when the stats are trending down? Seems like a good thing to me.

I always found it laughable we were apparently more dangerous than Surrey. A city that pretty much has daily drive-by shootings. Crime is PG is largely targeted. If you’re not in the drug trade. You’re likely going to be fine.

I think that for most of us, we are far too busy earning a living, raising our families, volunteering in various capacities, enjoying our leisure time and living life in general to worry about what Macleans magazines says about us!

I cancelled my own Macleans magazine subscription a few years ago as in my opinion, most of what they were publishing seemed like a waste of paper!

people looking for an issue, will find it.

people who seeks simple pleasures, will find it.

people who fears the worst, will find it.

How is a magazines are allowed to morph into a news outlets.

How is it that magazines are allowed to morph into a news outlets.

pgjohn states; “Crime is PG is largely targeted. If you’re not in the drug trade. You’re likely going to be fine.”

If we decided to take Portugal’s approach maybe Prince George’s crime rates might drop? In 2001, among other social measures, Portugal decriminalized all drug use and 14 years later here are the results:

http: //mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening

To answer a question Digitus Impudicus asked about Williams Lake & Quesnel yesterday about crime in those towns, there is a major gang war going on in Williams Lake to the point that most violent crime there is being attributed to said gang activity. As for PG being “chock full of all sorts of crime”? Pick up either of Vancouver’s major papers & see what is going on there, specifically Surrey. PG still has a way to go but when I read what is happening in other places, I am glad that I’m not there.

I find it interesting that with the exception of Thunder Bay, there isn’t a single metropolitan area in Ontario or Quebec that has a higher crime severity index than the national average (Montreal is close to the average). In fact, Toronto, the largest city in Canada, has the lowest score for the metropolitan areas.

Conversely, with the exception of Calgary (which is very close to the national average), there isn’t a single metropolitan area in western Canada that has a lower crime severity index than the national average. That includes Victoria, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg.

I think people need to look at these stats as what they are, indicators. You also have to look at the methodology used as certain crimes result in a higher contribution to a score than others. That said, the same methodology is applied to all cities so there is some basis of comparison, especially if you are comparing similar sized cities.

Dot forget that Surrey will probably pass Vancouver in population growth and Vancouver has a million people living in it. And Abbotsford has a population of 180,000 and the Bacon boys are dead or in jail.

NMG, I remember hearing that Canada is sloped to the west, everything that is loose rolls this way ;) Seriously though, I wonder if it is age demographic or what the reason for higher crime stats in the west? Higher proportion of educated people in the east? Your post is interesting & poses some food for thought.

Interesting observation NMG, however we already know there is a causal link between high crime rates and high poverty rates, and guess who has the highest child poverty rate in the country? I would also think that people with low education levels tend to make poorer life choices, or their life choices become limited due to their low education levels.

I would not be surprised if there was a correlation between higher education levels, and a lower poverty rate, being behind the lower crime rates in Toronto and other low crime rate cities… out here it’s a poverty stricken, redneck simpleton world… you even see it sometime on this discussion board. Yee Haw!

OMG! Sage has just saved PG and can drop the crime rate! Who would of thought that by following a European country, we can instantly changed life in Prince George.

By Golly! You take the lead and we will be there for ya!

ohreally’s comment should remind us that out here intelligence is both feared and despised. I remember growing up in a small town where half of my high school classmates left for university, when they would come back for the summer, I felt a bit inferior around them, that is until I decided to take post secondary a few years later.

A well educated society is a more civilized society.

I have a question for everyone; if poverty and poor education levels are not major contributors to crime, why are there so few, if any, rich intelligent people in jail?

Hmmm… food for thought eh?

Because they can afford rich, intelligent lawyers ?

Unfortunately sage, you speak like you are above everyone else, yet, I posted a post and you were on it in minutes. what do you do! scan the internet just looking to make yourself look good to everyone. You are not fooling anybody.

Don’t you dare try and make this about me ohreally. It is not my fault you are feeling insecure and threatened, your condemnation of me is inappropriate!!!


Just logged on to see how things are going!

ohreally, I’m a bit perturbed at you! Condemnation of Sophie is my responsibility! Thankfully, I am a kind, gentle, warm and compassionate person who is apt to share, so go ahead and share in the condemnation, haha!

Don’t you dare…? Really Sophie, get over yourself! The “facts and truths” speak volumes to your online arrogance! Like I said before, your ability to conduct Google searches does not, I repeat, does not make you smarter or more intelligent than anybody else! You don’t seem to have anything better to do than to copy and paste internet articles and links all day long! Who has that much time to scan the internet?

What is it that you do for a living? You always avoid that question! Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem to allow much room for original thought, only Googling, copying and pasting!

Don’t you dare! Seriously? Haha!

Norways police last year fired two shots , either of which hurt or killed anyone . Education in Norway is free including post secondary . Their universities are open to students from around the world for free based on merit . Speaks for it self doesn’t it .


Hate to burst your bubble but Clown College is stretching the definition of a post secondary education even if you did finish near the top of your class…Krusty Cum Laude.

By the amount of time you spend pecking at computer keys Sofa might be a better name than Sophie.

Ataloss, are we willing to pay the level of taxes that they pay in Norway? Some time ago, I posted some information regarding their teacher’s salaries. Somehow, I don’t think that those in our education system would be willing to work for those wages!

Our police seem need more education in conflict de-escalation. They also need to consider the of a taser before the use of their firearms. But I’m not a Police Officer! I don’t walk in their shoes so I don’t know what’s going on in their heads!

No easy answer, unfortunately!

Sparrow, Sofa!!

Congratulations, best comment of the month, haha!

Hart guy , I’m talking life and death . You talk money . that’s interesting because I’ve had the same thought about the connection between death at the hand of the police and money . Btw norways population is about 500k larger than is BCs .

Hart guy , do you really think that sparrows crass and base comments are worth merit ? It’s purely personal attacking . No subject . No rebuttal . No debate . No context . Just a base , crass , immature personal attack . Sad HG .

Sparrow, I have noted that almost every single comment from you, on this comment board, drips with negativity and sarcasm, I imagine you would be a difficult person to live with, tell us are you “lonesome”?

Ataloss, you mention free education in Norway, but somebody or something somewhere somehow is paying for it!

Norway has a much higher sales tax, something to the tune of 25%! When you hold up Norway’s “wonderful” education system as a shining example, isn’t it reasonable to make mention of how it is paid for?

Ataloss, you state that you are talking life and death, and I talk money! Did you miss the part in my post where I suggested that “our police seem to need more education in conflict de-escalation. They also need to consider the of a taser before the use of their firearms. But I’m not a Police Officer! I don’t walk in their shoes so I don’t know what’s going on in their heads!”

You’re a smart guy Ataloss, I surprised that you missed all of that!

Ataloss, re Sparrow’s comment, I know that you and Sofa are best friends and that you feel the need to defend her, but some of us get rather tired of being referred to as idiots, useful idiots, and unintelligent people who fear and/or despise other’s self proclaimed intelligence!

Haven’t you been guilty of tossing around “useful idiot” once in a while! Some might consider that to be “Just a base , crass, immature personal attack?

Ataloss, are you the “pot calling the kettle black”?

Don’t get sucked into responding to HG Ataloss, this is what he does, just ignore him and stick to the crime rate subject.

Sophic, in referring to crime rates in BC & Ontario & why there is a discrepancy, with education maybe being a factor you wrote; “out here it’s a poverty stricken, redneck simpleton world… you even see it sometime on this discussion board.” Is that really what you think of your neighbours & friends? BC has the second highest rate, by percentage of population, of post secondary graduates. So education levels here must not play that huge of a role. If you’re referring to PG it can’t be overall poverty as our income levels are higher than average. I remember reading that a majority of crime here is done by a relatively small group of people. Hard to pin what the leading cause is. Drinking water? Back to your rude comment about BC residents. If you truly believe that why are you still here?

HG I’ve never called anyone here an idiot . Not even you . I’ve only said that , if , you are not in the top ten percent of the one percent in canada and you vote and or promote the con agenda , then you are A useful Idiot . If you’re rich then just own up to it and you won’t be looked on as a useful idiot by me . Big deal eh?

Sorry detoed44, my comments seem to be attracting a lot of attention from others on this site, if I answer or respond to everyone’s questions, and in some cases challenges, the number of comments I make go up.

From now on, I will not be engaging anyone in a back and forth debate, nor will I be responding to multiple questions from multiple posters, it increases my comment numbers and makes it look like I am hijacking a discussion thread.

I have spent a bit of my off-work time, as a hobby, researching federal & provincial political issues, environmental issues, industry issues, Aboriginal issues, human rights issues, and a few other areas of interest. I have amassed a large database of information, some of which needs to be shared on here so that people can make an “informed” decision when they vote on October 19th.

A sample of information I pulled from my database is on the Friday Free For All at this very moment. Cheers!

Comments for this article are closed.