FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Peace Region’s three largest cities have all dropped this year on Maclean’s magazine’s annual ranking of Canada’s most dangerous communities.
In this year’s ranking, which is based on the crime rates of 229 cities across Canada, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Grande Prairie all fell on the national list. Fort St. John’s Crime Severity Index in 2017 sits at 122, while the city’s Violent Crime Severity Index also dropped to 133.
Both Prince George and Grande Prairie, two communities that can lay claim to formerly being named Canada’s most dangerous city, have both fallen out of the Top 10 and are now ranked 11th and 12th for overall highest crime rates. Dawson Creek sits in 17th spot, while Fort St. John sits 27th.
For 2015, Stats Canada reported that the Energetic City’s C.S.I. sat at 165.46. That same year, Fort St. John’s V.C.S.I. of 221.68 placed it 4th across Canada, behind only North Battleford and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan, and Thompson, Manitoba. This year Fort St. John placed 18th on the Violent Crime Severity Index ranking, behind Dawson Creek, Prince George, and Grande Prairie. Those three communities ranked 11th-13th respectively.
Breaking down the crime rates by category, there are several trends when it comes to the types of crimes committed in the four northern cities. The rates of assault, sexual assault, impaired driving, and cocaine trafficking were all much higher in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Prince George, and Grande Prairie than the national average. This year, the rate of sex assaults increased in all four cities, while the rate of cocaine trafficking offences increased in both B.C. Peace cities.
Interestingly, Fort St. John and Grande Prairie scored much better this year when it comes to offences under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Dawson Creek had a rate of 72.67 YCJA offences per 100,000 residents with a total of nine in 2017. In Fort St. John, there were a total of four, or 19.8/100,000, while in Grande Prairie the rate of Youth offences was zero.