Courtenay is the 45th most dangerous place in Canada, according to a report published by Maclean’s.
The report ranked communities across the country by their Crime Severity Index, a measurement of all police-reported crime, taking into consideration the population, volume of offences and their seriousness.
The report used the most recent Statistics Canada data available, collected in 2016.
Courtenay has a CSI of 101, which can be compared to the national average of 70.96. The city’s Violent Crime Severity Index is higher at 120, compared to the national average of 75.25. In terms of VCSI, Courtenay is ranked 26th out of 229 communities.
When looking at homicide numbers, Courtenay ranks third with three homicides and a rate of 11.93 incidents per 100,000 people (there were three homicides in Courtenay in 2016). In this category, Thompson, Man. and Woodstock, Ont. sit in first and second.
Campbell River is ranked just before Courtenay in 44th place with a CSI of 103, Nanaimo is 37th with a CSI of 112 and Parksville is lower down in the 64th spot with a CSI of 85.
North Battleford, Sask. tops the list as the most dangerous place, with a CSI of 353 and a VCSI of 337.
Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula says he does not agree that Courtenay is a dangerous place to live in.
“This town is a safe, good community,” he said. “Could we do better? Of course. Are there problems here? Of course there are. Is there organized crime here? Of course there is. Is there drug trafficking here? Of course there is. Is there domestic violence here? Of course there is. But there is everywhere.”
Jangula went on to say that no place is 100 per cent safe, but he believes the city is taking steps to curb crime.
“I think the biggest thing – and this is something the police continue to do… is working on prolific offenders. I mean, the reality is most crime is basically perpetuated by the same people over and over again, and when you eliminate these people from the agenda, things change.”
He said it is still important to be vigilant, but residents have no need to live in fear.
“Any community can always do better and we will always strive to do better, but when you look at the big picture and when you compare us to the rest of the country, I don’t think we’re that bad off.”