File photo

File photo

Quesnel ranked 8th most dangerous place in Canada

Although StatsCan data suggests crime rates are actually trending down in the city

Quesnel is the eighth most dangerous place in Canada, according to a Maclean’s magazine ranking.

Maclean’s used data gathered in the StatsCan Crime Severity Index from 2012 to 2017, which measures both violent and non-violent crimes, to come up with the rankings.

The Crime Severity Index of a community is determined based on the the amount and severity of crimes reported to the police within a given jurisdiction. Each offence is assigned a weight, which is derived from the sentences (including the rate by which people are incarcerated for a particular offence and then the average length of the prison sentence) handed down by the courts in all provinces and territories for each particular offence.

This means a more serious crime, like homicide, would likely have a higher weight than a less serious offence like breaking and entering, for example.

READ MORE: Quesnel crime rate almost four times national average in 2017

Using this information, Maclean’s identified the rates of violent crimes, such as homicide, sexual assault, and assault, and non-violent crimes such as breaking and entering, fraud, and impaired driving, among others, in 237 communities across the country.

These rates reflect the average rate of each crime per 100,000 people. So if an area with a smaller population, like Quesnel – with a population of 10,000 people – were to have one homicide in a year, the rate of homicides would be 10 per 100,000 people.

By comparison, if a city of a similar size to Prince George – with 70,000 people – were to have only one homicide, they would have a substantially lower rate of 1.42 homicides per 100,000 people.

Each of the cities and towns listed as the top 10 most dangerous places in Canada, it is worth noting, has a population of less than 104,000 people.

Quesnel is listed as the eighth most dangerous place in Canada, immediately following Williams Lake at number seven, and before Prince George, at number 10.

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the term ‘most dangerous place’ is a gross misrepresentation of the community. He says crime statistics, particularly non-violent property crimes, for instance, don’t necessarily equate to danger. “And if you actually look at assaults, bodily injury, any kind of personal bodily injury type crimes, we’re nowhere near any classification of dangerous,” says Simpson.

Mayor Simpson adds that although he does not believe Quesnel is dangerous, it does have a serious problem with property crime, adding that council has a committee specifically working to lower crime rates within the city.

“We have a crime reduction specialist who will be tabling a report with us very shortly here that that committee will then begin to put into action,” says Simpson.

Beyond just the ‘most dangerous places,’ the Maclean’s rankings also break the statistics down further: Quesnel is ranked the 15th worst place for violent crimes in Canada, 15th worst for sexual assaults, 12th worst for assaults, 14th worst for firearms offences, 38th worst for robbery, sixth worst for breaking and entering, 21st worst for fraud, 14th worst for impaired driving, 43rd worst for cannabis trafficking, 74th worst for cocaine trafficking, 17th worst for other drug trafficking, and 81st worst for youth crime.

While Quesnel ranks in the 100 worst in each set of crime rates measured, the city is in 114th place for “five-year change in Crime Severity Index,” meaning, in short, crime rates have been trending down in the city over the past five years.

Quesnel is trending down in its rates of assault, robbery, impaired driving, cannabis trafficking/production, cocaine trafficking/production, and youth crimes.

Quesnel is also seeing an increase in reports of sexual assault, firearms offences, fraud, and the trafficking of controlled drugs other than cannabis and cocaine.

Moreover, an increase in sexual assaults does not necessarily mean there are more sexual assaults occurring. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, more sexual assaults have been reported across the province, which StatsCan has said “may have had an impact on the willingness of victims to report sexual assault incidents to police.”



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wells filmmaker James Douglas will be directing a feature length Christmas Movie, set to film in Prince George in March. (Baker Street Productions)
Wells director set to lead Christmas film shoot

James Douglas will be the man in charge in Prince George from March 1 - 13

Registered Nurse, Teresa Friesen immunizes Dunrovin resident, Richard Brophy. (Submitted Photo)
Dunrovin residents first to receive vaccine in Quesnel

91 residents in the seniors’ home were given the first dose of their vaccine

The Quesnel Regional Airport hasn’t hosted passenger flights since Central Mountain Air stopped flying into the city in April of 2020 due to a COVID-19 downturn. File Photo
Council trying to attract airlines back to Quesnel

Staff to investigate temporarily waiving landing fees at Quesnel Airport

The KIJHL’s Kamloops Storm players celebrate on the ice at West Fraser Centre after a goal during one of their games in Quesnel in December 2017. Efforts to bring a KIJHL team to Quesnel stalled in 2018 after the league’s executive voted 16-3 against expansion. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Kangaroos fighting GMHL junior expasion into Quesnel

The Senior AA team sent a letter asking council to not support the non-sanctioned league’s efforts

Newly elected Nazko Chief Leah Stump penned a letter explaining the scope of the project. (Photo submitted)
Nazko seeks approval to build housing for members facing lengthy medical visits in Quesnel

The First Nation is looking to build nine units in West Quesnel to help members staying in the city

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read