After ranking as one of Canada’s most dangerous places in 2017, crime rates in Vernon are on the decline, a Statistics Canada report says.
According to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Crime Tracker, total crime rates in Vernon dropped 7.3 per cent in 2017 with 11,621.93 per 100,000 population compared to 12,545.89 in 2016.
“It’s good to see that the rate is going the other way,” said Mayor Akbal Mund, noting the near seven per cent increase in 2016 over 2015.
However, Mund said he doesn’t place much weight in the stats.
“There are all kinds of statistics. You really have to look at how many are high profile incidents in a community,” Mund said.
Vernon also dropped to 133.55 from 156.85 on the Crime Severity Index, which reflects the relative gravity of offences.
In terms of total violent crime rate, Vernon dropped 14.1 per cent to 1,611.45 per 100,000 population from 1,840.43 in 2016 while the violent crime severity index rose to 118.69 from 113.6.
The total non-violent crime rate dropped to 10,647.02 from 11,524.53 and the non-violent severity dropped to 138.58 from 172.04.
Reported break and enters dropped nearly in half, the report shows, from 1,223.62 per 100,000 to 720.91 while rates of sexual assault, physical assault, firearm-related violent crime, drug violations and cannabis violations saw a decrease in line with the overall drop.
Only the total robbery rate increased to 109.76 from 107.38, per 100,000, for an increase of about two per cent.
The study also found that 7.41 per cent of reported crimes were unfounded in municipal boundaries, compared to 11.67 per cent in rural areas near Vernon.
Stony Rapids, Sask. saw the highest crime rate in 2017 followed by Wollaston Lake, Sask. and Behchoko, N.W.T. In British Columbia, Terrace topped the chart followed by Williams Lake and Quesnel.