Statistics Canada report shows Williams Lake ranks third in overall crime, second in violent crime

The City of Williams Lake said in a recent press release it continues to focus on crime reduction measures.

  • Jul. 29, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The City of Williams Lake said in a recent press release it continues to focus on crime reduction measures.

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) produced by Statistics Canada for 2012 shows a 27 per cent reduction in the CSI value since the index was first published for the year 2008.

Crime has declined in Williams Lake every year between 2008 and 2011, with a small increase in crime statistics during the middle of 2012.

Some categories of property crime, such as vehicle theft, have decreased by as much as 80 per cent since 2008.

The city continues to work with the RCMP to address crime and the social factors behind it.

A number of initiatives have been put in place over the past few years, including a prolific offender program, Boitanio Park Working Group, a youth gang crime task force, and a false alarm bylaw to free up RCMP resources.

The city also continuously lobbied the Province for additional resources for policing.

The CSI value of Williams Lake in 2012 is 241.2, down from 330.5 in 2008, when Williams Lake ranked number one in Canadian communities with a population of 10,000 or more.

In 2012, Williams Lake ranked number three in overall crime, and number two in violent crime.

Crimes such as murder and assault are weighted heavier than crime such as robberies and thefts in the index.

“We have made progress in the past five years, but clearly council and the Williams Lake RCMP are not satisfied with the latest statistics,” Mayor Kerry Cook said in a press release.

“We will continue to take a strategic community approach to reducing crime.”

The index also includes sentencing, and in Williams Lake, many people are arrested for breaching bail, probation, and undertakings, which affects the CSI score.

In 2012, the crimes with the highest incidences were Disturbing the Peace and Mischief.

The Index is also calculated using the population of the city of Williams Lake, while a majority of crime is committed by non-residents.

Most violent crime is perpetrated by criminals on other criminals, resulting in little impact on community safety, said the release.

“Crime is heavily influenced as a result of social and environmental factors. Addictions, poverty, mental health, boredom, are just some factors that influence crime,” said Williams Lake RCMP detachment commander Inspector Warren Brown.

“Although our calls for service and property crimes are down from the recent past, I am still disappointed that we remain so high in crime stats provincially and so high nationally. I am cognizant and aware of our responsibility as your ‘police service’ and we will do everything we are able to and within our sphere of influence to continue to decrease crime.

“We will be aggressive and Charter compliant in our approach.

“We cannot do this alone and rely upon our volunteers, our stakeholders, and community at large to take a strong stance against those who jeopardize our safety.

“I am encouraged by the strong leadership we have in our communities and the level of engagement from many of our stakeholders.

“Despite our positioning on the CSI, I believe Williams Lake is a very safe place to live, work, and play.”