Williams Lake vying for crime stats that reflect regional service area police respond to

A North Central Local Government Association resolution from Williams Lake calls on the province to direct the RCMP to amend its reporting of crime stats

Williams Lake city council is lobbying to have RCMP crime stats based on the city and its surrounding areas.

Council has prepared a resolution asking the North Central Local Government and the Union of B.C. Municipalities request the province to direct the RCMP to amend its reporting statistics to accurately reflect crime statistics based on the regional service area that RCMP responds to, and that the recommendation be sent to Statistics Canada.

“At the most recent UBCM and other UBCMs, when meeting with ministry staff and other RCMP we have made requests to them to amend the way they report statistics,” said Coun. Jason Ryll during the committee of the whole meeting held Tuesday, March 5 after council received a crime stats report from RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley.

Read more: RCMP calls for Williams Lake total 1,104 during first two months of 2019

Ryll said the resolution is trying to combat the crime severity index that usually comes out in a “very damaging way,” not only to Williams Lake but to a lot of communities in rural B.C. and Canada.

Ryll aslo said he prefers seeing crime stats in terms of numbers rather than percentages.

“I think the percentage increase inflames a scenario where information becomes skewed in the public’s eye, ear and mind.”

The city’s chief administrative officer Milo MacDonald said the crime severity index for Williams Lake is artificially attributing the crime rate of 30,000 people to a population of 10,000 people.

“That’s really the objection,” he told the Tribune. “The community of Williams Lake is probably closer to 30,000 people because of areas like 150 Mile, Esler, Fox Mountain, South Lakeside, etc. Those are large areas and there are more people living in those areas combined than in Williams Lake.”

And while those areas are outside of the political boundaries of Williams Lake, they are functionally still part of the community of Williams Lake, MacDonald added.

“Those people shop in Williams Lake, their children go to school in Williams Lake, they work in Williams Lake,” he said. “Most communities would have the benefit of their lower crime suburbs included in the crime stats and Williams Lake has been deprived of that.”

During the committee of the whole meeting, Mayor Walt Cobb said seeing the crime stats reflect the Williams Lake and fringe area has been a wish of city council for a long time.

“In the last month we got a report back from Stats Canada that they weren’t prepared to deal with it, so maybe this resolution will help move it forward,” Cobb said.

Back in 1990 even, an article in the Tribune titled Method of reporting raises council’s ire, quoted then Alderman Hugo Stahl saying he was concerned about the method of reporting crime stats.

The article noted that council was writing a letter to the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General asking them to come to the lakecity to discuss the statistics reporting method and that council was also going to write to UBCM.

Ryll said it is up to elected officials to use the tools they have in their toolbox to continue to apply pressure on the province and the RCMP.

“We are doing what we can to make sure the crime stats are accurately reported to the benefit of all communities in rural Canada,” Ryll said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Williams Lake Farmers Market seeks permission to include licensed liquor vendors

The board has been approaced by a winery from Prince George

Wind gust near Williams Lake blows off a deck roof

The roofing also hit power lines in front of the yard before landing on the road

WATCH: Williams Lake students strike over climate change concerns

Local student protesters joined others around the world looking for government to take action

Come dance away with the Whirlaways this weekend

The Williams Lake Square Dancers annual jamboree is this weekend

Scout Island connecting lakecity with creatures big and small

From whakes to incest larvae, Scout Island invites lakecity to expirence aquatic waterlife this week

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Most Read