At least one resident of Prince Albert, Sask., says he’s worried about violent crime happening in his city. He hopes for a change.
Local business owner Nick Hudye said it was a bad time to be residing in Pennsylvania.
“If you ask me, over the last two years we’ve lost our city, we’ve lost control,” Hudye said.
“There has never been a more disturbing, scarier and more shameful time to be a resident of the City of Prince Albert.”
The Crime Severity Index released this week by Statistics Canada places Prince Albert among the top five cities for the most violent crimes in Canada for nine of the past ten years.
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The Prince Albert Police Service said in a statement that the Crime Severity Index did not accurately reflect the number of people officers had to deal with, saying they were policing a community about five times larger than the population enumerated for the PA.
“On average, the Prince Albert Police Department continues to police a much larger community than census statistics show. Our retail population, or the number of people who come into our community each day for services, medical appointments or entertainment, is closer to 190,000 people,” the police department’s statement read.
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The statement also noted that they are seeing more violent crime, but it is not just their community that is seeing this trend.
“The 2021 rankings reflect an upward trend in violent crime that our service, and others in Western Canada, continue to see. As our police members respond to an increasing number of calls for service each year, we continue to see more cases involving firearms, weapons, drugs and violence given the number of basic people for our community.
“For the third consecutive year, the national homicide rate has increased, with the highest rates observed in Saskatchewan (5.93 homicides per 100,000 population) and Manitoba (4.41 homicides per 100,000 population),” adds the press release.
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It was also noted that the number of homicides continues to be higher among Indigenous and racialized people.
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The Prince Albert Police Service said it was adding more officers to the roster, having added nine since last fall and four more in training in Regina this week.
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Warren Silver, an analyst at Statistics Canada, noted that many communities across Canada find themselves in the same situation with the Crime Severity Index.
“It’s a valid concern, but I think it’s something that happens regularly across the country. So whether you’re in Saskatoon or Regina or Prince Albert, I think all of the surrounding communities will go to the big cities to partake in entertainment and stuff, and so the population in those cities swells at times. ”
Silver added that it is partly for this reason that they only compare cities of a certain size to each other for the table of census metropolitan areas, which Prince Albert does not meet the threshold and does not include. small communities.
“I would say each area should look at this as a tool to explain what the crime looks like, but to take into account if you have other considerations as well.”
The Prince Albert Police Service has released its 2021 examination statistics, with violent crime being the most concerning
In March, 95% of Prince Albert Police Association members voted against the city’s police chief, Jonathan Bergen, and Hudye wants Bergen to resign.
“What world do we live in where it’s okay to have a 95% no-confidence vote against someone and still carry on with that same person as our city continues to get more and more dangerous?”
Global News contacted the Prince Albert Police Department and Prince Albert City Council for comment, but they did not respond in time.
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