Calgary seen as safe by most, but even safer in reality

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 24, 2017

Ottawa (60), Charlottetown (53) and Victoria (42) are perceived to be the safest cities by those surveyed.

A smaller percentage of Canadians think Winnipeg to be the most unsafe city in the country than did a year ago, but the city continues to have the worst reputation in the country, according to a new poll. In Saskatchewan, even though Regina's crime rate was the country's highest, it was still considered safer than Saskatoon.

However, with 52 per cent of respondents saying thought it was an unsafe city, Toronto ended up as the second-least safe city in Canada in the eyes of those surveyed.

"You could argue that (Edmonton previous year was) maybe a little bit closer to where it should be, given the crime rate", Valentin said.

The survey, which was conducted between August 14 to August 18, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.16 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Winnipeg police Const. Rob Carver acknowledged officers are seeing higher amounts of violent crimes reported, but he called the poll results "skewed".

Unless someone is involved directly in crime or is associated directly with people who are involved in crime, "the probability of being a victim of crime is actually pretty low", Carver said.

"With just a single exception in the City of Toronto, cities that are the seat of provincial government have a relatively higher perception of safety than other urban centres in their home province", said Maggi.

MainStreet Poll
Mainstreet president Quito Maggi said there were a number of likely factors behind the results

"Our theory has been the scores are mainly driven by news coverage, and it looks like the stories that are breaking through on national TV and social media has not helped Winnipeg improve its standing with Canadians", Maggi said.

Mainstreet pollster Quito Maggi explained that because it's a national survey, participants can often be influenced by both traditional and social media reports of sensational crimes, which more than anything else may be responsible for perceptions that don't necessarily match up with reality.

Researchers suggest the media coverage of crimes in bigger cities might perpetuate to their unsafe reputations.

Canadians find Montreal to be significantly more risky than it actually is, a poll by Mainstreet Research has found.

The perception of Winnipeg as a violent city is at least partly backed up by statistics.

This designation, though, seems to cut against the grain of recent trends, which have seen an increase in violent crimes in recent years.

"Montreal does very well compared to other cities", he said.

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