A new report has given Vancouver a dubious honour: the highest break-in rate of all major Canadian and American cities,nearly four times that of New York City.
Last year, Vancouver recorded more than 1,100 break-ins per 100,000 residents while New York City had just over 300.
The numbers are contained in the annual report by the B.C. Progress Board, which showed Vancouver had the second-highest combined violent and property crime rate among all major cities in Canada andthe United States.
The annual report, which tracks a wide range of statistics on everything from exports to cancer rates to crime, and then ranks the province and Vancouver against other provinces, states and cities, has since 2001 become known for delivering good news and bad news.
After the report's release on Thursday, Health Minister George Abbott noted B.C. once again ranks first for health outcomes in Canada.
"I'm very pleased by that. We know that British Columbians live longer than just about anyone else on the face of the earth."
Fewer British Columbians are obese and fewer adults smoke than in any other Canadian province. And B.C. leads the country in life expectancy.
But it's in the area known as 'social condition,' which measures everything from poverty to birth weights, that B.C. falls down with a ninth-place ranking among the 10 provinces.
According to the report, the most troubling social indicator was the 17.5 percent of British Columbians living below the low-income threshold, the second-worst ranking in Canada.
The report also notes the situation has not improvedat all during the past decade.
And while crime rates have been improving, B.C. still lags behind the national average in all major categories.
Property crime in particular is a problem, NDP solicitor general's critic Mike Farnworth points out.
"It shows B.C. has the worst rate of property crime in the country. I think it's nothing for this province to be proud of."
Despite the fact that crime rates have fallen significantly between 1997 and 2005, B.C. still ranked 60th in a North American comparison.
The report blames several factors for B.C.'s above-average crime rate
- Criminal business organizations involved in the illegal drug trade.
- Defective and/or deficient childhood development practices.
- Mental disorder and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
- High numbers of impoverished chronic, repeat offenders addicted to drugs and alcohol.
- The apparent failure of the criminal justice system to punish offenders.
But while Vancouver has high property crime rates, it ranks better on violent crimes with rates below those found among major U.S. cities.
Vancouver's violent crime rate of 391 incidents per 100,000 population ranked it eighth, behindtop-ranking Quebec at 185 incidents per 100,000 population and ahead of Detroit with 716, said the report.
Vancouver ranked eighthon the homicide rate with 2.5 per population, above the national average of 1.9, but less than one-quarter of bottom ranked Detroit.