Mayor Kerry Cook says a lot of progress has been made to reduce crime in Williams Lake.
Cook says this following a Statistics Canada report that shows Williams Lake has dropped from number one in the country on the Crime Severity Index in 2008 to number four for violent crime and five for non-violent crime. The City’s CSI score has dropped to 205.6 from 348.1.
“Clearly, we are not where we want to be yet when it comes to crime or crime severity in our community,” Cook says. “As I’ve said, we have made great strides in reducing crime overall, especially property crime. Obviously, the work to reduce our violent crime and crime in general needs to continue.
“I want to emphasize that Williams Lake is a safe city and the City is committed to reducing every type of crime.”
The Crime Severity Index measures crime severity in Canadian communities with populations greater than 10,000.
Crimes such as murder and assault are weighted heavier than crime such as robberies and thefts.
The CSI uses the population of Williams Lake of 11,129 in its calculations.
However, the City says the majority of crime committed within City limits is perpetrated by non-residents. Most violent crime is committed by criminals on other criminals.
The City says recent initiatives by it and RCMP include a number of bylaws, improved relationships with community and First Nations leaders, and an increased number of civilian staff in the RCMP detachment to lower the burden on RCMP members, who have the highest case load in British Columbia.
Other initiatives that have helped reduce crime, according to Cpl. Jason Pole of the Williams Lake RCMP, include the prolific offenders program, community policing, and the CRIME program.