The 2013 Crime Severity Index (CSI) released Wednesday by Stats Canada, ranked Williams Lake fourth in overall crime, third in violent crimes and fourth in non-violent crimes.
Mayor Kerry Cook said although an improvement from 2008 and 2009 when Williams Lake ranked number one in overall crime and entered a category of its own, the new rankings are “certainly” not good enough.
“Crime has been reduced by 34 per cent, but we aren’t satisfied where we are,” Cook said. “It won’t change overnight, however, we need to be optimistic that crime will be reduced further in the future.”
The 2013 CSI covered 304 communities across Canada serviced by police with populations exceeding 10,000 people, with statistics reported by the police.
Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Warren Brown said Thursday the stats can be misleading and it’s the cities with populations close to 10,000 that end up in the top 10.
While the population of Williams Lake is presently 10,919, Brown said as the “hub” city for outlying communities, the city actually services 25,000 to 30,000 people.
“We have known that 65 per cent of our crime is committed by people who live outside the city,” he said.
Williams Lake’s RCMP detachment remains one of the busiest in B.C. and with available resources it will always be a challenge, Brown said, adding the RCMP continues to work with stakeholders in the community and other agencies to help reduce crime.
“We’ve worked hard to bring it down but we still have a lot of crime in the city,” Brown said.
Canadian police services reported just over 1.8 million criminal incidents in 2013, down approximately 132,000 from the previous year, Stats Canada said in a press release accompanying the CSI.
While most offences were down in 2013, some police services reported more incidents of extortion, child pornography, aggravated sexual assault (level 3), sexual violations against children and identity fraud.