Macleans is out with another set of controversial data designed to aggravate people and sell magazines.
The Codiac Region in New Brunswick (Moncton) ranks 50th out of the 100 most dangerous cities. Fredericton ranks 34th and Saint John ranks 15th most dangerous city. Halifax is the 7th most dangerous city. Saint John is the highest city in the ranking for sexual assualt.
There are serious methodological flaws with this (although if NB cities were the safest I would be bragging wouldn’t I?). First, this stuff should be done over a five year trend. Single year in smaller cities could just mean a blip. Take the murder rate. If a small city has two murders in a given it shows up like Saskatoon. It may go 10 years without a single murder.
Secondly, they talk about ‘dangerous cities’ but in reality it is regions (like the Codiac Region) which can include large rural populations. It is hard to compare one region that is totally urban and one that is half urban and rural given that most serious crime is committed in urban areas.
Finally you have this whole issue of reporting. It could be that Saint John has done a really good job of getting young women to report sexual assault whereas in some other cities it goes unreported. In that case, Saint John looks bad when in reality it should look good.
Who knows? Bottom line is that for the past 4-5 years Macleans has decided that controversy sells more than just straight news and so we get catastrophe and disaster on a weekly basis. I still subscribe……