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Crime in Calgary is on the rise in 2016

Is Alberta a hotbed of criminal activity these days? Recent data obtained from Statistics Canada seems to bear that out, as increased rates of crimes reported to Alberta police contributed to an overall increase in the nation's crime rate, the first in a dozen years.

The federal agency noted that the national Crime Severity Index, a measure of the severity and volume of crimes reported to the police, rose 5 per cent in the 12 months between 2014 and 2015.

In Alberta, there was an 18 per cent increase, that when added to lesser increases in Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia, drove the uptick in the CSI. But overall, eight of the 13 territories and provinces also reported that their crime rates increased in 2015.

Of the nation's 33 census metropolitan areas, 20 noted higher crime rates, with Calgary's 29 per cent surge listed as the largest. The rates for traditional crimes also shot up in the cities; Calgary documented a 25 per cent increase.

The chief of the Calgary police department sees a correlation between the rising crime rates involving property offences and the decrease in energy production that put many residents out of work. He also shared concerns about the very serious problem of addiction to hard drugs by Calgary residents, as their addictions spawn more crimes.

So what does this mean for Calgary residents accused of criminal acts? For one, it can mean that the Crown prosecutors have their hands full adjudicating all these matters in court. As full courts can lead to an increase in plea bargain offers, it is best to work closely with your criminal defence lawyer to negotiate the best deal possible.

Source: CBC News, "Canada's crime index rises for 1st time in 12 years, lifted by spike in Alberta," John Gibson, July 20, 2016

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