Iqaluit’s crime rate surpasses that of smaller communities

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New Statistics Canada data released Tuesday shows that the crime rate in Iqaluit is higher than in Nunavut’s other communities.

Statistics Canada suggests that having bars could be a reason for high rates of mischief and disturbing the peace in Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet.
NNSL file photo

That’s the inverse of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, where the capital cities have lower crime rates than the smaller centres.

In Iqaluit, the crime rate is calculated at 60,564 incidents per 100,000 population, which is Statistics Canada’s standard measure and involves a projection for communities with populations with fewer than 100,000 residents. The remainder of Nunavut comes in at 28,097 incidents per 100,000 people in 2017, the most recent data available.

At 36,220 incidents per 100,000 population, Rankin Inlet, the territory’s second-largest centre, also exceeds the crime rate of communities outside of Iqaluit.

However, the most common types of reported crime in Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet are mischief and disturbing the peace, which accounts for nearly 75 per cent of offences in Iqaluit and 60 per cent in Rankin Inlet, according to Statistics Canada.

Citing a 2010 study that showed crime rates are higher in communities with fewer restrictions on alcohol, Statistics Canada makes a correlation that Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet have bars, which may be related to the greater incidents of mischief and disturbing the peace.

Nationally, the police-reported crime rate in rural areas was 6,210 incidents per 100,000 people while in urban centres it was 5,051 incidents per 100,000 population.