Crime stats

LETTER: Numbers showing Vernon as No. 9 most dangerous places need more explanation

Your Nov. 26 front page story shared the alarming crime news that in 2016 Vernon was #9 out of 229 communities in all of Canada. As Roger Knox reported, “Vernon has made the top 10 list of Canada’s most dangerous places,” according to Maclean’s magazine.

Newly installed Vernon RCMP PR person Kelly Brett explains it away as due to our town’s “relatively small population size.”

A question for Mayor Akbal Mund, council members, and Kelly Brett:

Since Vernon is actually much larger than Coldstream, why then is Vernon #9 in Canada while adjacent Coldstream is #168 according to this 2016 crime severity index (CSI)?

Why is Vernon #5 in all of Canada in break-and-enters while Coldstream, a much smaller community, is #105? #16 in robbery while Coldstream is #173? #29 in violent crime while Coldstream is #199? #16 in cocaine trafficking while Coldstream is #143?

Is someone asleep at the wheel?

It seems as though Richard Rolke’s Nov. 29th editorial column may have inadvertently disproven his opinion about the crime rate in Vernon.

Citing data for 2017, he states there has been only one murder in Vernon while during the same period there were 26 in Toronto.

Vernon has a population of less than 40,000 therefore on a per capita basis 26 murders would be comparable for a city with one million residents. However, Wikipedia tells us the population of Toronto is more than 2,730,000 people, or close to three times greater.

Doesn’t this mean that Vernon’s murder rate is between two and a half to three times as high as Toronto’s per capita for the first six months of this year?

Our local homicide rate might be reduced and become more equivalent to Toronto’s if possibly there had been no murders in Vernon for the past two and a half to three years. Would the RCMP’s Kelly Brett please provide their local homicide data in order to reassure Vernon residents?

Jerry Reitman

Vernon

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