Saskatoon

Saskatoon led country in overall crime rate in 2014

The latest crime statistics show that Saskatoon led the country last year with the highest overall crime rate. The city also topped the list for the crime severity index.

Police chief says situation just as bad this year

Saskatoon police arrest a man on July 6, 2015. The man spent an hour jumping from rooftop-to-rooftop in a residential neighbourhood before climbing down from a residence on Avenue H South. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

Statistics Canada reports that the crime rate in Saskatoon led all Canadian cities last year.

Saskatoon also topped the list for the crime severity index, a tool used to measure offenses according to the severity of the penalties in court.

"I think it's indicative of what we've seen in the past two or three years occurring in Saskatoon," said Police Chief Clive Weighill.

"We've been growing, we've seen an increase in the drug trade, methamphetamine is causing us problems, that's what's really driving our property crime, theft of vehicles, theft from vehicles."

Weighill said the crime is both opportunistic, and organized.

Police Chief Clive Weighill is not surprised by the numbers. (CBC)
He said there is a significant marginalized population in Saskatoon living in poverty with poor housing and few prospects. These people often gravitate to crime, he said.
The trend for our higher crime rate is continuing.- Police Chief Clive Weighill

At the same time, organized crime groups from outside the province are drawn to Saskatoon because of the city's strong economy.

Until these social issues are dealt with, Weighill said the city can expect to see more of the same.

"The trend for our higher crime rate is continuing," he said.

"We're up 14 per cent already this year for property crime … and we've had an increase this year in violence with the gangs, with some shootings."

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