Transient residents, proactive enforcement contribute to Thompson’s high crime severity, city says

The City of Thompson responded Aug. 3 to Statistics Canada’s annual Crime Severity Index, which was released July 23 and ranked Thompson first for violent crime severity among Canadian communities with more than 10,000 people and second in both overall and non-violent crime severity.

A city press release said that Thompson’s ranking is affected by it being a central location for drug trafficking in Northern Manitoba and having a larger population than census or other data indicate due to a large number of visitors and transient residents.

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Proactive enforcement of drug laws and impaired driving also drives up crime statistics, according to the city.

“Time and time again, I meet newcomers to our community that have found their fears and their perceptions of our community to be overstated,” said Mayor Dennis Fenske. “There are real social issues in Thompson, and there are many people, both in government and outside of it, who are working hard to improve them. But they are issues that are not unusual to Manitoba or to Canada, and we need to see them in perspective.”

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