Thunder Bay's metropolitan area ranks eighth among major centres in Canada in the latest national crime severity report, but it shows up much worse for violent crimes in particular.

Statistics Canada says Regina and Saskatoon have the worst overall crime rates.

In last year's report, Thunder Bay had the seventh highest overall rate among metro areas in the country.

The rankings are a measure of police-reported crime volume and the severity of crimes committed last year.

In a separate rating for violent crime, Stats-Can says Thunder Bay and surrounding townships have the second worst rate in the country, following Winnipeg.

The report comes on the heels of the fifth homicide in the city this year.

Thunder Bay police released information indicating that within the city boundaries, the crime severity index has actually dropped in each of the last four years.

Thunder Bay police spokesperson Chris Adams told CBC News the data in these reports is a useful resource.

“We'll see how effective certain programs are,” he said.

For example we know that property crime is down, once again, quite significantly for the community.  That indicates to us that the education programs that we try to do from a prevention standpoint are probably helping to a degree. And people are getting smarter about how to protect their property.”

Adams said that although the overall crime stats for the city are important, the incidence of crime in specific neighbourhoods is more useful to police for helping to determine where problems exist and where to devote resources.

"We really need to press on and keep vigilant,” he added.

“Unfortunately, violent crime will  continue to be an issue until we somehow come together as a community to deal with some of the social issues that are fuelling this violent crime.”