News Local

Winkler 90th most dangerous city

Greg Vandermeulen


The City of Winkler is a dangerous place to live, if you believe a study compiled by Macleans Magazine. Using the Crime Severity Index, a Stats Canada measure of all police-reported crime, the article written by Mark Brown was released Nov. 23. In it, the 2016 data was used to rank the most dangerous cities.
The national crime severity index is 70, acting as a benchmark to compare the communities included. This was the first year the study took into account smaller cities, with a population of at least 10,000.
Of the 229 cities in the study, Winkler was ranked as the 90th most dangerous city in which to live, sandwiched between St. John, New Brunswick and Stony Plain, Alberta.
Winkler ranked less dangerous than every other Manitoba community: Thompson - 2, Portage - 7, Selkirk - 10, Winnipeg - 40, Brandon - 52, Steinbach - 60.
However the study considers Winkler more dangerous than cities such as Calgary - 93, Montreal - 97, Halifax - 121 and Toronto - 124. And yes, that’s the Toronto that had 73 homicides in 2016.
To calculate the danger level, the study adjusted the percentages per 100,000 of population.
Winkler had one homicide, (that of a Saskatoon man killed at a local bowling alley). Adjusted per 100,000 of population Winkler’s homicide rate was an astonishing 8.28 per 100,000. That eclipses the national average of 1.68.
Winkler also exceeded the national average in firearms offences at 8.28 per 100,000, again for one offence.
Smaller sample sizes also made the difference in Cannabis trafficking or production. Eight incidents resulted in nearly double the Canadian average of 29.32 per 100,000 and five other controlled drug incidents (such as heroin, ecstasy, meth) made Winkler almost double the national average of 23.41.
Some stats are more telling. Winkler had 58 breaking and entering incidents which equaled a per 100,000 rate of 480.09, above the national average of 438.51.
But there was good news as well.
With 34 assaults, Winkler boasted a 281.43 per 100,000 rate, well under the Canadian average of 430.68.
Sexual assault rates were also less with five incidents for a 41.39 rate, less than the average 56.56.
With four robberies Winkler was half the national average, and fraud reports (25) put them at 206.9, less than the Canadian average of 299.05.
With 23 impaired driving incidents Winkler is slightly below average.
Winkler had an overall crime severity rate of 75, above the Canadian average of 70.96.
According to the study, the most dangerous city to live in was North Battleford, Saskatchewan with a crime severity index of 353. The safest, with a crime severity index of only 16 was the Kennebecasis Region of New Brunswick.