Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I read an article published in today's Winnipeg Free Press that made me perk up a little. Which is quite a feat today since I'm dosed up on Buckley's so that I can resemble a functioning adult.

For years it has irritated me that crime stats are sensationalized - yes, based on per capita, we have been the murder capital of Canada many times over. I know they have different categories for cities of various sizes when they come up with these statistics, but why don't people see how easily the statistics can be skewed, especially without context?

Using the biker murders in Shedden, Ontario as an example, I'm guessing that in 2006, Shedden was the murder capital of Canada for small towns. Now, was the average resident of Shedden quaking in their boots? Probably not. Obviously, a series of murders like that is an anomaly, however it would still go into the statistics. I personally wish the statistics could somehow be boiled down to show how many average folks had _______ crime happen to them.

For example, if a gang member is murdered by another gang member, it doesn't count. Now don't get all up in arms on me, I don't mean the person didn't count, but does the average citizen need to fear for their safety if gang members are killing each other? The same thing for domestic murders - if a husband murders his wife and kids, is the city as a whole, a more dangerous place?

The same thing applies to other sorts of crime as well; if 90% of sexual assault charges stem from prostitutes who have bad "dates" (I pulled that statistic out of thin air, merely for an example), should I, as someone who is not a prostitute be worried about being randomly sexually assaulted? I would much rather know how often a woman is sexually assaulted by a stranger while going about "normal" "low-risk" activities.

Basically, if you lead a lifestyle that is known to have these sorts of negative elements, you can expect more bad things will happen to you. This is not rocket science, it's common sense.

Remember, be careful, ALL crime ends on days that end in the letter "y" - now that's a scary statistic!

No comments:

Post a Comment