Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Lethbridge area ranks highest in Crime Severity Index; overall crime is down

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – It’s not the number one spot any region wants to be in.

The Lethbridge Census Metropolitan Area ranked as the worst on Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index in 2020.

According to the latest numbers, Lethbridge is about 20 points higher than Winnipeg which is number two on the list.

The index takes into account the amount of overall crimes in any one given area.

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Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says it’s no doubt concerning and has been a serious issue here that’s been escalating for years.

He says “when a city like Lethbridge is scoring higher than cities like Edmonton and Calgary, the first conclusion I come to, is that, one: we have big city problems in a city like Lethbridge and two: we don’t have the resources to deal with it.”

Spearman did say though, that supports announced in the past few weeks, like the new recovery community to be built in Lethbridge County, are welcome.

When it comes to violent crime like murders, firearms offences, and assaults, the Lethbridge area ranks number five in the crime index.

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Even with that, overall crime in Lethbridge has dropped by about three percent since 2019, and Police Chief Shahin Mehdizedeh says that’s a good sign.

He says “in 2021, we are actually starting to see a more significant decrease in crime trends in the city, which is again, a good news story for the city.”

Mehdizadeh says Lethbridge is still a safe community, noting a lot of the crime here is what he calls “opportunity crime”.

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