Despite Saskatoon's No. 2 ranking in the country when it comes to crime, police chief Clive Weighill says much has been done to lower crime rates.
A report on the 2013 crime severity index (CSI), which is a measure of police-reported crime volume and the severity of crime, was released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday. Crime is down in the city but it is still at the top when it comes to the crime severity index.
In 2013, Saskatoon had the second highest CSI of the 33 communities surveyed, scoring 99.1 on the index that uses 2006 as a baseline. Regina ranked No. 1 with a CSI of 109.
Weighill said the report shows that, despite the high ranking, violent crime in the city has dropped by nine per cent. He said the success comes with targeting specific forms of violence.
"Two years ago we got extra resources from the Board of Police Commissioners to double the size of our gang unit," Weighill said. "That's really had a big impact and of course our integrated drug unit has worked very hard the past couple of years."
Saskatchewan ranks No. 1
If one looks only at the crime rate (not factoring in severity) Saskatoon is still No. 2. Barrie, Ont., came in lowest on the crime severity index, with a rating of 42.8. Canada-wide, the rating was 68.7.
Saskatchewan had the highest CSI among the provinces, as well as the highest youth crime severity index.
Weighill said that poverty and marginalization are the major drivers of crime. Despite the success, the force has a lot of work ahead of them, he said.
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