Prosperity behind Yellowknife's soaring crime rate, report says
Yellowknife's booming economy has drivenits crime rate to five times higher than the national average, with 12-year-olds prostituting themselves forcrack and drug deals going down in broad daylight, a report says.
The $50,000 Yellowknife Safe Community Initiative report, commissioned by the city,wascompleted in 2005 by local consulting firm Genesis Group but only recently released to the public. It concludes that the capital of the Northwest Territories is not what it used to be.
Diamond mining and oil and gas development have brought prosperity to the city but also fuelled an increase in crime and addictions, says the report,which was compiled largely from interviews with people living on the street.
Mayor Gord Van Tighen said the report offers a perspective that's often overlooked.
"One of the reasons behind doing the report is to present options and alternatives and ideas that may not have been talked about before," said Van Tighen.
"Let's talk about these things, discuss them, see if there's anything that makes sense."
The report recommends tougher measures for bars and funding for an addictionstreatment centre.
It also proposesimposing a curfew for people under 16 and making it illegal to spit, loiter or defecatein public.
"What we were trying to dowas toget the information to the people that can do something about it because there are some things in there that could be re-interpreted, misinterpreted to stir people up," said Van Tighen.