WINNIPEG – It’s not a title we wanted to keep, but Winnipeg is still the violent crime capital of Canada.
That’ according to Statistic Canada’s annual report that looks at police-reported crime numbers across our country.
It shows our city’s violent crime severity index, which measures both volume and severity of crimes increased by five per cent in 2015.
Across the country, there was a huge jump in homicides: up 15 per cent in 2015. The title of murder capital of Canada goes to Regina.
Winnipeg Police released their own numbers on Wednesday as well.
The service reports a 7 per cent increase in crimes from 2014 to 2015. It’s the first time Winnipeg has had an increase in over a decade.
“I would be concerned if it continued to trend up,” said Winnipeg Deputy Police Chief Danny Smyth at a news conference.
“If you look at our rates over the five years or ten years, there is nothing alarming here. But we have to acknowledge it is an uptick.”
Violent crime was up six per cent and property crime was up nine per cent specifically break-and-enters, fraud and mischief.
Types of violent crimes that went up include: kidnappings, aggravated assault and firearm offences. Types of violent crimes that went down in 2015 include: homicide, attempted murder and abductions.
“We’ve always had high rates when compared to other cities. I don’t know what it is about the Prairies. Manitoba and Saskatchewan, we are always near the high end of the scale,” Smyth said.
U of M criminologist Rick Linden tells 680 CJOB it sounds bad, but if you factor in all crime, we’re only 11th.
“It’s not the most pleasant of pictures, but I don’t think it’s as bad as a lot of Winnipeggers think it is.”