Crime stats can be de­ceiv­ing — chief

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - Jen­nifer Hamil­ton-mccharles

Crime sta­tis­tics don’t tell the whole story, says North bay Po­lice Chief Shawn devine.

devine was re­spond­ing thurs­day to a macleans mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle which listed North bay and Cal­lan­der as the 99th most dan­ger­ous place to live in Canada.

the an­nual list, which ranks com­mu­ni­ties ac­cord­ing to their crime sever­ity in­dex (CSI), looked at 237 ur­ban cen­tres and mea­sured all po­lice-re­ported crime, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion both the num­ber and se­ri­ous­ness of of­fences.

ac­cord­ing to the rank­ing, North bay and Cal­lan­der rose by 2.96 points from 2012-2017 to a CSI of 73, slightly above the na­tional av­er­age of 70.96.

For devine, the num­ber is more than a statis­tic. it rep­re­sents the num­ber of peo­ple who have been vic­tims of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

and although he would like to see the num­ber re­duced, devine said “we’re liv­ing in a time when eco­nom­ics and drugs are hav­ing an im­pact on crime. For some of our mi­nor crimes like thefts from cars and break-ins, those are most of the time be­ing driven by peo­ple who have ad­dic­tion prob­lems.”

as well, the chief notes the num­ber can be de­ceiv­ing.

“i look at the pop­u­la­tion of toronto and i flip open the pa­per ev­ery morn­ing and read there’s been a stab­bing or mur­der in that com­mu­nity. yet North bay is higher on the crime sever­ity in­dex,” he noted.

“toronto has 2.5 mil­lion peo­ple, and if you take how many break and en­ters they’ve had and then you take a pop­u­la­tion like North bay with 55,000 peo­ple and throw in 800 break and en­ters, the per­cent­ages are a lot dif­fer­ent.

“We’re not any dif­fer­ent from any other com­mu­nity. if you look at North bay’s com­para­tors, like Corn­wall or belleville, we are be­low in terms of our crime sever­ity in­dex.”

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