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A Safe Place To Grow

Did you know that the Town of Taber and the Municipal District of Taber are some of the safest communities in Alberta?  We have the stats to prove it!

Statistics Canada measures the severity of each crime reported in each municipality.  More serious crimes receive higher weights while less serious offences receive lower weights.  The level of seriousness is based on sentences given out by the courts in Canada.  This measure is called the Crime Severity Index; it indicates the level of severity of crimes occurring in a municipality.  Because the crimes are weighted, more serious crimes raise the index greater than less serious crimes therefore the higher the number on the Crime Severity Index the more serious criminal activity taking place in the municipality.  According to Statistics Canada’s most recent stats from 2015, the Town of Taber has a Crime Severity Index of 61.95 and the M.D. of Taber is even lower at 40.27.  Compare this to Lethbridge who’s Crime Severity Index is at 109.49, Lethbridge County at 45.18, and Medicine Hat’s 77.38. What this shows is that when a crime does occur in the Taber area it is more likely to be a less severe crime than what would occur in the slightly larger centers on either side of us, meaning there are less occurrences like homicides, criminal harassments, and forcible confinement cases, among other possibilities.

In addition to measuring how severe crimes are in a municipality, Statistics Canada also records the likelihood of a crime being solved, this is called the weighted clearance rate.  In the Town of Taber 62.20% of all crimes are solved, while violent crimes are solved 99.94%, almost a 100% solvability! The M.D. of Taber follows similar patterns, with 55.45% of all crime being solved and 90.99% of violent crimes being solved. We can compare this to our neighbors in the east and west to see that the Taber area is leading the pack when it comes to keeping communities safe.  The City of Lethbridge earned themselves a total weighted clearance rate of 53.42% and a violent clearance rate of 83.65%.  Similarly, Medicine Hat solved 56.14% of all crime and 76.29% of violent crimes.  Lethbridge County solved 56.86% of crimes and 91.13% of violent crimes.  Residents of Taber can feel confident that if they do fall victim to a crime there is a great chance of that crime being solved.  Again we see, if you are looking for a safe place to live in southern Alberta you can feel safe growing in the Taber area!

Municipality

Crime Severity Index

Weighted Clearance Rate

Violent Weighted Clearance Rate

Town of Taber

61.95  62.20  99.94

M.D. of Taber

 40.27  55.45  90.99

City of Lethbridge

 109.49  53.42  83.65

County of Lethbridge

 45.18  56.14  76.29

City of Medicine Hat

 77.38  56.86  91.13

 Table: 2015 Crime Statistics by Municipality

Uncommon for most towns, the Town of Taber employs their own police force.  The previously mentioned statistics are a great representation of how successful that has been for the town.   Along with Statistics Canada’s findings the Taber Police Service has conducted their own surveys that also position Taber well as a safe community.  The 2016 Adult Community Survey found over 80% of respondents were satisfied with the service provided by the Taber Police Service.  Further, 83% of respondents felt Taber is a safe place to live, listing drugs/controlled substances (35%) as their greatest safety concern.  Other major concerns were all property related: theft (13%), property damage (12%), and break and enters (less than 7%).  8% of the population had no crime concerns at all.  Residents not only are safe but they actually feel safe in Taber.  Residents also feel their police force is engaged in the community and value the force’s School Resource Officer Program. 93% of respondents agreed officers were involved in the community and in the 2016 Taber Police Service Youth Survey almost 83% of youth also agreed.  This survey also found youth felt officers are friendly, approachable, and fair, they listen to young people, and support the community.

The School Resource Officer works with two school divisions, Holy Spirit School Division and Horizon School Division, to create a positive police presence in our community and amongst youth. The officer engages with other members of the school community such as teachers and counsellors, as well as Alberta Health Services, Family Connections, and family counsellors. Through this position a positive relationship is formed by engaging students both in the classroom and on fieldtrips.  The officer does not follow a set curriculum so presentations can be designed around current needs and enhances the school curriculum.  These relationships make the officer better suited to deal with crises and problems when they do arise.  The School Resource Officer assists in mediating conflicts, conducts violence/threat assessments, assists with suicide assessments, and investigates drug offences.  The positive results gathered in the 2016 Taber Police Service Youth Survey are an example of the positive influence the School Resource Officer has had on the youth population.  The role engages youth allowing them to form positive perceptions of the law enforcement officers in their community.

Our statistics show if you do not feel safe in your community you can feel safe in Taber.  Wouldn’t you rather be growing in Taber?

Resources:
2016 Taber Police Service Youth Survey Results
Taber Police Service Adult Community Survey 2016: http://www.taber.ca/DocumentCenter/View/1350
Statistics Canada. Table 252-0088 - Crime severity index and weighted clearance rates, by police service, Alberta, annual, CANSIM (database). (Accessed: February 1, 2017)