Sask. has the highest provincial crime rate in Canada – and the most severe crimes, too
Firearms incidents jumped up 233% in Regina in 2016
Saskatchewan's crime rate rose for the second consecutive year, jumping about four per cent in 2016.
This province has the highest crime severity index and crime rate in Canada. Saskatchewan's crime severity index rose by nine per cent.
Regina's crime rate went up more than 11 per cent in 2016. Firearms offences jumped 233 per cent in the city — with 58 incidents, up from 17 in 2015.
Violent crime increased more than seven per cent in 2016.
Regina police and the RCMP's F division responded to the report.
Chief Bray: We need to look at what causes crime; what are the underlying issues? Address homelessness, addictions, gang issues, poverty.—@reginapolice
Chief Bray: crime is not tied to race or ethnicity but crime is driven by its connection to marginalization, poverty and vulnerability.—@reginapolice
RCMP said the rise of the crime severity index "was primarily driven by an increase in the number of homicides" in a press release.
In 2016, there were 35 homicides in the province, up from 25 in 2015. Regina saw eight homicides in 2016, one less than in 2015.
The RCMP said it will put extra emphasis on disrupting gang activity and are working with community members and organizations to develop crime reduction initiatives within the division.
Child pornography offences jumped in Regina in 2016, after two years of decline in 2014 and 2015. There were 29 child pornography incidents in 2016, a 41 per cent increase over the 20 incidents in 2015. There were also 16 incidents of making or distribution of child pornography in Regina during the same time.
Violent crime involving youth decreased by more than seven per cent.
Crime decreased in six provinces and territories but Saskatchewan saw an increase, as did Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba and Nunvaut.
Regina and Saskatoon have had the highest crime severity index numbers among Canadian metropolitan areas since 2010. Both saw increases in 2016.
Violent crime in Canada was essentially unchanged in 2016. Crime rates have mostly been on a downward trend since 1991.
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