Figures released by Statistics Canada late last month show that Yorkton continued to hold the seventh worst crime severity rate in Canada in 2011.
Statistics Canada's annual Crime Severity Index tracks the volume and seriousness of crimes committed in 239 Canadian communities with populations over 10,000. The data for 2011 was released on July 24.
This year's Crime Severity Index reveals that Yorkton showed slight improvement on two of the three major indexes measured (overall crime severity and non-violent crime severity), but still held its rank from 2010 of seventh worst in the country overall.
The severity of violent crime in Yorkton worsened between 2010 and 2011. On the violent crime severity index, Yorkton moved from a value of 163.6 to a value of 177.0, compared to a national average of just 85.3. Its ranking on this index jumped six places, from 15th in 2010 to ninth in 2011.
The move up the rankings on the violent crime severity index resulted from a combination of Yorkton's worsening violent crime and major drops by cities such as Saskatoon, Victoria, and Yellowknife in the past year.
The city's ranking on the non-violent crime severity index also moved up from sixth place in 2010 to fifth in 2011, despite a slight improvement in its index value. This was the result of a significant improvement in non-violent crime by Williams Lake, BC, which previously held the placing above Yorkton.
The six cities ahead of Yorkton on the overall crime severity index remain the same as last year, with some shuffling of rank. They are 1. North Battleford, SK; 2. Thompson, MB; 3. Yellowknife, NWT; 4. Portage La Prairie, MB; 5. Prince Albert, SK; and 6. Williams Lake, BC.
Although the Crime Severity Index covers all communities over 10,000 up to and including Canada's largest cities, all of the top 10 spots on the list fell to communities with populations below 40,000.
On a national scale, crime continues to steadily decline in Canada. The Canada-wide crime rate is now at its lowest point since 1972.
Saskatchewan's crime severity was the highest of the provinces in 2011 while Ontario's was the lowest.
Values provided in the Crime Severity Index are measured against a standardized value of 100, based on the Canadian average in 2006.