Calgary

Red Deer tops Alberta in Crime Severity Index

Red Deer is top of the Alberta list when it comes to the Crime Severity Index measured by Statistics Canada and some people tell CBC News that crime has started to hit more people at home.

‘It was just a real ugly scene, and they told me there was a hit and run’

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says part of the increased reporting of crimes is related to the city partnering with regional and provincial task forces. (247RedDeer/YouTube)

Red Deer is top of the Alberta list when it comes to the Crime Severity Index measured by Statistics Canada and some people tell CBC News that crime has started to hit more people at home.

Last September police showed up at Ryan Simmons' door at about 3 a.m. with some bad news.

"There were sirens and lights and everything," Simmons tells CBC News.

"Your car got smashed up and I looked and it was totalled, just totalled, and there was a puddle of fluid all over the street," he explained.

"It was just a real ugly scene, and they told me there was a hit and run."

'Red Deer got hit really bad'

Simmons says, in his opinion, the cause is difficult to avoid.

"Everybody says it's the economy and it's really hard to disagree. A lot of the businesses here are service businesses for the oil industry and contractors, those are the kind of businesses that dry up first when oil takes a turn," he said.

"I think Red Deer got hit really bad right from the start when the economy started to turn bad and I think it is just desperate people."

Property crimes like these are on the rise in Red Deer. The city beat out Edmonton on the overall Crime Severity Index.

Mayor Tara Veer says that's because the city has started working more closely with regional and provincial crime task forces.

Red Deer is on the top of the list for Alberta on the Statistics Canada Crime Severity Index. (Google Maps)

"We knew full well that if we were going to be more aggressive in terms of focusing on those areas, that it would translate into higher reported crime and higher arrests and convictions made."

Veer says she's pleased violent crimes are generally trending down.

Still, Simmons says he's made some changes to avoid any repeats.

"Well I definitely don't park any cars on the street anymore that's for sure. I've got a garage so I park there all the time now."

Yet he says he doesn't feel any less safe where he lives.

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