Whew! I ended up in a coffee house reading a complimentary copy of the Winnipeg Sun newspaper … here are a few headlines today and a couple paragraphs that caught my eye ~ …
Where Winnipeg ranked per capita among Canada’s nine largest cities (more than 500,000 people)
Homicide — Rank 2
Robbery — Rank 1
Auto theft — Rank 1
Break-ins — Rank 2
Total violent crime — Rank 1
Total property crime — Rank 1
Total crime — Rank 1
— Source: Statistics Canada
Is the media just exaggerating this stuff or is it real? Criminologists keep telling us crime is on the decline, including violent crimes. And they’re right.
Yesterday’s Statistic’s Canada report on crime rates in Canada bear that out. Overall crime fell 3% in 2006 and it’s down 16% since 1996.
Violent crimes were stable last year and have dropped 5% since 1996, according to StatsCan.
Property crimes like break, enter and theft also fell last year and are down 32% since 1996.
So what gives? Why do many of us perceive that crime is getting worse?
The UN report stated that Canadians use marijuana four times more than people in any other developed country. Some 16.8 per cent of Canadians between 15 and 64 used pot in 2006.
By comparison, the figure is 12.6 per cent in the U.S., 8.7 per cent in Britain and 0.1 per cent in Japan.
In all, we came in first in the Marijuana Olympics among industrialized nations and fifth overall (a far better result than we managed in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in which we didn’t even manage to score a goal).
To put it all in perspective, people in Jamaica evidently smoke 6.1-per-cent less pot than do Canadians, although anyone who visits the Bob Marley museum in Kingston may sniff the air and come to the conclusion there’s enough ganja in that one location alone to win any contest going.