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October 27, 2017 9:54 pm

Crime Stats: The Big Picture

Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 10:28 AM


Chart shows  Prince George’s rankings over the  past 6 years- chart 250News


Prince George, B.C.-  Moving up in the ranks is not good news  when   it’s the crime severity index or ranking for violent crime, and Prince George RCMP  Superintendent Warren Brown has been crunching the numbers.

The annual  rankings by Statistics  Canada, examined more than 300  communities  with populations over 10 thousand.

Over the past  6 years, Prince George has been as  high as number 7 in the nation  in the  rankings for violent crime, a year that also pegged the City  as  number 11  when it comes to overall Crime Severity rankings.

The lowest  rankings Prince  George has seen in the past 6 years  came in  2014,  when it  was ranked number  23 for violent crime, and  number 22 in overall crime severity.

Although the most recent numbers show a slight  step up  in the rankings for Prince George ( #20 for violent crime and Crime severity) Superintendent Brown  says the CSI may not accurately reflect what  has been happening in any specific year “The CSI is a complicated formula.  Depending upon the frequency of the event, the severity of the event it’s given different scores and then they take into account as part of the formula, the sentencing.  Because of that, it may not accurately reflect what happens in that specific year.  The sentencing aspect  of it could be  influenced by what happened in a previous year.”

Supt. Brown says he  doesn’t want to dismiss the  rankings as being  trivial, “Crime is  a concern to me in this  community, but when I look at  the CSI compared  to other years, really it is down significantly from   when we  saw crime in a spike here from   2008 to  2012.  Albeit, it is  up slightly from  last year,   it still  puts  us on the same score nationally, usually we are around 20th.”

“When I look at crime stats specifically,   for instance break and  enters,   in 2014 we were at 206,  last year,  we were at 195 break ins for the entire year”  so  while  there has been a drop,  Supt Brown says  it is a category that impacts the  overall CSI. “It concerns me,  in looking at specific property related crimes that we  had last year, it’s down  from the previous years.”

As for violent crime, which includes robbery, homicides and serious assaults,   Superintendent Brown says  the numbers are concerning,” That affects a small  number in the community.  Unfortunately a lot of people involved in violent crime  are involved because of chosen life styles.  We’ve  had a number of shootings this year,  targeted shootings we believe are related to   criminal organizations and drugs.  That negatively affects our community but  the majority of people in the community  feel quite safe.”  There were four homicides last year  compared to just a couple  in 2014.

He points out that  the  CSI nationally increased  for 2015,  the first time in  a dozen years that  the  national  ranking increased and the provincial  rate increased as well.  While  stressing  he is not tolerant of any crime whatsoever, he adds, “our trend isn’t much different than what we’ve seen nationally or provincially.”

Supt. Brown says he believes  the local  detachment  has a good grasp on what ails  the community. ” The City has been very  supportive giving us a few extra members this year,  we’re working diligently on programs for social chronic  offenders and those with mental  health  conditions and we have good community engagement.  We are  not blind  to  what’s happening, but there’s some capacity  issues and there are some crimes that go beyond  our control.”  He says a very active  car thief   (91  such thefts in 2015)  could be responsible for  making those numbers climb “One person out of jail, or just having someone  from a different community relocate, that can really offset the balance.  Again, it’s targeting the right offenders, it’s programs around crime reduction,  so we’re going to continue to focus our  efforts towards  forwarding that  and identifying those people who need more attention.”

Bottom line for  Supt, Brown “I’m not overly concerned the sky is falling here,  but we will continue to engage and look at innovations towards the best crime reduction policies that  suit the needs of our city.”





Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief the new evidence cannot be accepted. It creates a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with that core belief.

The evidence and facts about; Prince George’s extremely high crime severity rate, which ranks in the top 10% of 305 cities in Canada; Prince George’s extremely high child poverty rate; the fact that a population the size of Vanderhoof, BC use food banks in Prince George on a monthly basis;… all these facts and evidence are rationalized, ignored and even denied by the very people who currently support the incompetent and inadequate power structure that allows these things to happen in this city and province.

We can see that cognitive dissonance where misplaced outrage targets petty issues like the renaming of a city park, or the change in traffic direction in a city park. Anyone living outside of Prince George would view these as “petty issues” yet because of cognitive dissonance, those who are responsible for supporting a power structure that allows extremely high crimes rates and poverty rates in our city, absolutely need to ignore and minimize these critically important social and quality of life issues, and instead focus their outrage on the petty / insignificant issues!

    I think you’ve done a great job drawing attention to the problem, but what would you do to solve it?

    Child poverty – I’ve driven by the food bank, seen people standing in line, one hand holding a cigarette, the other a cellphone. How do we get resources to the children, when the only conduit seems to be the parents? How do we teach the parents it’s more important to make sure their kids are fed, than their personal addictions are met.

    How do we deal with the personal addictions the parents have, for that matter, all addicts have. The recidivism of drug and alcohol programs is quite high, will running more programs change that? Do we legalize all drugs, provide them all for free, so that parents don’t need to take food from their children to pay for their habits.

    You’ve done a great job of essentially blaming the government for everything evil, but I would say that the government really doesn’t have as much power to change things as we’d like to believe. I’m interested in seeing if the new Child Tax Benefit really does trickle down to the children – if it does, fantastic and even if Trudeau borrowed the money to do it, money well spent.

    I sincerely would like to know, what JGalt, Premier of the Province of B.C. would do to fix things. Because we’ve had NDP governments who couldn’t fix it either. Look at Manitoba – NDP, and an appalling record on children.

    I think Supt. Brown also makes the point, the frequency of crime is the same people hurting each other several times, and when you factor out that group,for people not involved in the crime industry, PG is pretty safe.

      “I think Supt. Brown also makes the point, the frequency of crime is the same people hurting each other several times”

      That is an interesting notion and even possibly a fact.

      The problem I have is, why would you and Brown and some others think that is not the case in the city that is 120 on the list rather than where PG is?

      Why do the 100 people who commit crimes here commit them 5 times on average and why would those 100 people in a similar sized city only commit them once or twice to result in a lower crime rate?

      The explanations provided are not clarified. They sound good to some, but others will want to know a bit more rather than just brushing it off.

      The difference in one city fighting crime successfully and another failing at it is data and the understanding of what the data can mean and dose mean.

      We are not dumb. We deserve better explanations!! And if the police do not have them, then we deserve better qualified police who can make a change because they do know what makes us different than those places which do not have such high crime rates.

      As we have seen from the rise of Trump south of us, it is time to remove some of the careful wording and speak more honestly of what makes us and what makes the West difference than the provinces to the east of Manitoba.

      Perhaps that will allow us to tackle this problem more effectively.

      And I see organizations giving Save On gift cards to help people and then they go on FB trying to sell them.. Maybe a better method would be to pass the names to the stores and the people show ID when they buy things and it gets charged to the organization.. But they’d probably go sell the food afterwards.. But better than selling the cards to buy booze and smokes

    THE police can come down hard on offenders, escort them to the edge of town, take them for a helicopter ride,get them a bus ticket out of town. Find a reason to impound or take the car off the road for the night. Lobby and convince the judicial system that crime doesn’t pay in PR. GEO. When your word means something people will step back and reconsider, but you have to stick to your guns. If you make the environment around criminals harsh enough they will do business elsewhere.

    AS for people on welfare, how about free food, rent but no money exchanges hands. This means no money for alcohol, drugs.

      So you feel that those cities which have lower crime rates and are 20th from the other side of the spectrum:

      1. have police which come down harder on criminals

      2. escort criminals to the edge of town

      3. take them for a helicopter ride

      4. get them bus tickets out of town

      5. impound the vehicle for the night

      6. convince the judiciary that crime does not pay in the community

      7. make the environment around the criminals hard.

      If that is what you feel or know, then please show us that is what goes on in those cities where crime rates are lower than in PG.

JGalt, I don’t know how it is possible for you to breathe up there on that high perch you seem to be preaching to the rest of us unwashed masses from!
Here are some facts that might just shatter your perception of our so called distopian society that you describe.
Ask anyone in law enforcement, and they will tell you that the majority of police reported crime is related to the petty crime that is required for the acquisition of drugs, and the more violent crime that stems from the control or lack thereof of the drug trade by those involved. It is no coincidence that the uptick in criminal activity here in Prince George coincides with an influx of drug users and other low lifes from our surrounding communities.
As for the use of the food banks…go to any centre that has a food bank and you will see that a large percentage of the so called clients are using the food banks for their food needs so that they can spend the majority of their social assistance money of drugs and alcohol! Perhaps going to a bank card system with smaller more frequent deposits would help stop people from using welfare to fund their drug habits, but that is a topic for another discussion!

    I would love to see the stats that show the majority ppl use the food bank because they spend their social assistance on drugs. There are a lot of working poor parents using the food banks to help supplement their food security issues that are related to lower socioeconomic status. As a result of lower incomes and higher daily living costs than years past.

The comments by gopg15 yesterday certainly were food for thought. Why is western Canada so disproportionally represented on the CSI scale? Certainly it is understandable that Alberta is seeing a spike in their crime stats, but overall the west is higher than the east. What gopg15 asked should be being echoed in every government hall west of Ontario. What should/could we be doing different to further reduce crime in the west? What is it that drives crime in the west? Not population, not government policy, as ski51 points out, the governments that rule the western provinces are varied. Is it age disparity? The west has always had a younger demographic than our eastern counterparts.
Overall though, despite what the doomsayers & chicken littles of the world would have us believe, we actually live in a much safer time than 30 or 40 years ago. That doesn’t mean we should be satisfied with the status quo but we also shouldn’t be hiding in our basements, quaking in fear of the mostly non-existent boogey…person.

    Actually, one thing Ontario and Quebec have, that we don’t, is provincial police forces. I’ve always felt RCMP deep down see themselves as a Federal police force with a Federal master, and their agenda is set by the Federal government. Why wouldn’t they. Their pay cheque says government of Canada – not city of Prince George, despite us paying 90% of the bill.

    Provincial police forces answer to Provincial masters, and concentrate on Provincial issues. I have lived both in Delta (municipal police) and Surrey (RCMP) as a teenager. I can attest that in Delta, we got away with a lot less crap than we did in Surrey. We’d barely get the fire started and Delta police would show up and end our little party.

    Just a anecdotal observation – no scientific facts involved.

      I agree with you. While some people think this slights the RCMP, I do not think it does.

      There is one significant difference between the non-RCMP police in places such as Nelson and Vancouver than in the City of PG and other communities in BC and the western provinces.

      Those cities with city police forces report to a city police commission, not to Council.

      The report to Council is simply that, a regular report of how things are going. Council has very little authority over the RCMP. The contract with the RCMP is a provincial contract.

      We need better authority to ask the questions, probe what is being done, deal with goals and outcomes. A dedicated police commission has the time to spend on the sole issue of policing. Council has neither the time, the expertise or the authority.

      BTW, are UBCM and FCM doing about this, if anything?

      If nothing, why not?

    Actually, the study is based on communities with ten thousand people or more. Yesss PG would have higher crime rate compared to Quesnel with small population

      There is a difference between the total number of crimes committed and a crime rate. Of course a larger population would typically result in a higher number of crimes.

      A rate would be the number of crimes per 1,000 or 10,000 population. Thus, it is irrelevant what size the city is other than the margin of error is higher the smaller the size of the sample.

I feel for the police, how frustrating it must be to keep arresting the same people only to have some judge put them back on the street. I have spent a fair amount of time in court and have watched some comical decisions by judges, I have also watched the same person before different judges and they always get light sentences or let go.

How many times have we heard the statement ” known to police” after another arrest. It’s time to make being in prison undesirable and actual sentencing mean something. I don’t care about your background, your upbringing etc..breaking the law is breaking the law…it’s a choice.. If you make that choice expect to pay the price.

    Bleeding hearts are the biggest problem. They think hugs are going to fix everything. They are motivated by religion. Religion is the worst cause of problems on our planet.

      So what are your thoughts on religion based law such as sharia law?

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