Question from John:
Each year the magazine MoneySense ranks the Best Places to Live in Canada. In the past few years, Midland has ranked 167th (2013), 194th (2014), 173rd (2015) and 167th this year.
Here is the link to the MoneySense article: http://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2016-full-ranking/
Unfortunately, the magazine uses data from Statistics Canada's census which considered 'Midland' to be the population grouping of Midland, Penetanguishene, and Tay Township. I don't know why?
In the article, Midland's data is given as: Crime Rate – 5-Year Change: -38.4%;
Crime Rate Per 100,000: 8,037.04; Crime Severity Index: 90.0 and Violent Crime Severity Index:100.2. However, these numbers are for the combined communities. I would lke to know the numbers for just Midland over the past four years.
According the MoneySense article, it appears that Midland is not the safe community that we know it is since its numbers are combined with those of Penetanguishene and Tay Township. I suspect Midland's numbers would be much lower without the numbers of the other two communities.
May I have the crime statistics for Midland over the last four years?
Just today, Statistics Canada released our Crime Severity Index for 2015. It shows that our total crime severity dropped by 10.7 %, with violent crime being down 16.9%.
2015 - Crime Severity Index 63 down 10.7%
Violent Crime Severity Index 64.9, down 16.9%
Non-violent Crime Severity Index 62.2, down 8.1 %
It seems we are on the right track. Unfortunately, our non-criminal calls went up with more Midland residents needing assistance than in the past.
In relation to your question, I would expect that Penetanguishene and Tay Township should actually have lower crime rates than Midland. Statistics Canada says that small urban communities have the highest crime rates; higher than rural communities and bigger cities per capita.
This happens for a number of reasons. Midland is the hub. A big box store might have 150 – 200 calls for service per year for offences such as shoplifting etc. Even though the majority of those people are from out of town, that impacts our crime rate. Similarly, the hospital might have another 150 calls. Once again the bulk of those people will be from out of town, but they impact Midland’s crime rate. Midland has the two largest highschools, a hospital, mental health outreach agencies, shelters, all of the big box stores, the largest recreation centre, hotels, motels, the most employers, the most low rental apartments etc. All of these services increase our total calls for service and our crime rate.
Statistics Canada has not updated all of their reports but I have taken what they have sent me today (the numbers above), and added the numbers to a table on their website with previous years. The numbers don’t match exactly but it gives a good sense of what is happening.