Six spots behind Okanagan neighbour Penticton (No. 19), Vernon is gradually making its way down the list in the all crimes category.
Only two years ago, in 2017, Vernon held the No. 9 spot for the most dangerous place in Canada, according to Maclean’s findings. Last year, the city placed 24th.
There is still room for improvement, however. Vernon’s No. 25 spot sees a Crime Severity Index of 132 — well above the Canadian average CSI, 75.01.
The CSI is a Statistics Canada measurement that takes into account the volume and seriousness of offences.
Meanwhile, Vernon’s Violent Crime Severity Index, albeit falling, is recorded at 105 — 23 points above the national average of 82.44. Vernon placed 44th in the violent crime category.
Crimes rising in assault, sexual assault, robbery, break and enters, fraud and drug trafficking or production are reasons behind the city’s No. 25 all crimes placement.
Hard drugs and trafficking nudged Vernon higher in the ranks for cocaine and “other drug” trafficking categories, but the city placed near the bottom for cannabis offences before the legalization in October 2018.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP communications officer Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy said a downward slide in the list is “good to see,” but RCMP uses its own statistical analysis to direct “intelligence-led policing.”
“Due to Vernon’s relatively small population size, even one prolific offender can significantly impact the non-violent crime rating,” Const. Kelly Brett said last year.
Const. Noseworthy said her colleague’s comments still apply.
“Our population size does affect this number,” she agreed.
Vernon’s ranking among the 237 listed cities in each category are as follows:
- Violent Crime: 44
- Five-year change in CSI: 152
- All crime: 25
- Homicide: 43
- Sexual assault: 133
- Assault: 77
- Firearms offences: 89
- Robbery: 21
- Breaking and entering: 32
- Fraud: 24
- Impaired driving: 83
- Cannabis trafficking (pre-legalization): 201
- Cocaine trafficking: 37
- Other drug trafficking: 12
- Youth crime: 71
Coldstream landed the 200th spot in the all crimes category, while Kelowna and Lake Country placed 35th and 135th, respectively.
North Battleford, Sask., placed the top spot in the all crime category with a CSI of 385 — the Canadian average is 75.01. Its violent crime severity index registered at 362 to take the No. 2 place in the country for violent crimes. The city of 14,439 had an assault rate of 1,946.12 incidents per 100,000 people.