Statistics Canada has released its Crime Severity Index for 2020, and unfortunately Lethbridge took first place. The CSI rating is based on the number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies, with more serious incidents given a greater weight.
For the second year in a row, Lethbridge has hit first place on Stats Canada Crime Severity Index with a rate of 138.7, in comparison, the national average set at 73.4.
Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh, says a large portion of the rating is believed to be from petty crimes.
Lethbridge ranked number 5 in the category of violent crimes such as homicides, assaults, violent firearms offences and robbery,
There were also 764 drug offences recorded in 2020, up nearly 24 per cent from 2011.
The second-highest-ranked community is Kelowna, B.C. at 111.9.
Lethbridge did drop down almost three per cent from 141.8 in 2019, and Mayor Chris Spearman says having agencies and support coming to Lethbridge is a welcomed sight.
Some good news, across the country, the rate of police-reported crime as a percentage of the population was down 9.8 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.
Both Mayor Spearman and Chief Mehdizadeh say the community can help stop these crimes and lower the rate by doing their do-diligence
In November 2020, City Council cut the police budget by $1 million dollars, Mehdizadeh says they will maintain the service delivery currently in place, but 2022 will be a different story.