NORTH BATTLEFORD — North Battleford has reclaimed its title as the “Crimetown” of Canada.
The city recorded some dismal numbers in Statistics Canada’s 2021 crime severity index numbers for Canada. According to the statistics released Tuesday, North Battleford recorded a crime severity index score of 480.72, the highest in Canada for communities of 10,000 or more.
That number compares to 429.65 in 2020, an increase of 11.89 per cent. It is also a high for the entire five years going back to 2017, when the CSI was 369.38.
It means North Battleford reclaims the crime capital title from Thompson, Man. Thompson had topped the national CSI in recent years, and in the process ended a long streak in which North Battleford was on top of the CSI.
This time Thompson finished a distant second to North Battleford with a score of 438.49, down from a high of 493.08 two years ago.
Another community whose crime issues have been well-publicized — Wetaskiwin, Alta. — was third at 313.41. Prince Albert was fourth overall and a distant second in Saskatchewan at 263.4.
North Battleford failed to top Thompson in at least one CSI category: that of violent crime. The North Battleford violent crime CSI was 518.42, down from 560.20. Thompson recorded a whopping score of 757.97.
By contrast, North Battleford’s non-violent crime severity was 466.02, up from 381.68. Thompson stood at 322.55.
StatsCan also reported numbers for the incident-based crime statistics for North Battleford. According to those statistics there were 7,378 actual incidents in the city, for a rate per 100,000 population of 51,943.11.
The StatsCan numbers for North Battleford are ones reported for the municipal portion of the RCMP detachment. For the rural portion, the numbers for 2021 weren’t all that much better.
The CSI for North Battleford - Rural was 339.85, up from 318.22 in 2020. The number also marked a high for the five-year period going back to 2017.
Its violent crime severity was recorded at 494.77, while non-violent crime was 283.33.