The City Of Victoria on Vancouver Island boasts a population equatable to the Island of Jamaica yet does not have the same crime rate as Victoria, and that is a sub feature or my novel True Monsters. My reasoning for the lower crime rates is due to the leadership of my characters. In reality, however, Victoria rates as the second most dangerous city in Canada. That may not be saying much.
Another example, Toronto and Chicago have similar populations (within their city limits). Toronto is 2.5 million, and Chicago is about 2.8 million. Both cities have large pockets of poverty. Toronto even has large housing project towers in some areas, similar to the ones Chicago has been tearing down.
So far this year, Toronto only has 41 murders, while Chicago has an insane 346.
The sad thing is that Chicago isn't even that high by American standards in terms of RATE - which is to say, murders per 100,000 residents. Cities from New Orleans to Baltimore to Birmingham all have much higher rates than Chicago.
How does Canada manage to control gang violence so effectively compared to so many places in America? What are the major differences in policies, police response, and so on?
What can America learn from Canada's success?
For one, Canada taxes the rich more than the poor creating a larger middle class/social equality. Victoria is an anomaly in the homeless-per-capita situation; our moderate temperatures and high tourism rate provide great draw to those who want money for nothing. Yes, I just said that. Panhandlers can make really good money, an issue I write about in my novel. There are systems to get people off the street. Many simply choose to remain there, making enough to get a fix or drunk, then commit crimes. So that explains the Victoria anomaly.
Canada spends more on social programs, and while throwing money at issues doesn't solve anything, the money spent is part of our healthcare system. A healthy populace, both physically and mentally, reduces the feelings of disparity and the desire to steal.
Canada never built ghettos and tried to push all the minorities into them. True, racial areas did exist, such as China Town, though they were of a voluntary mindset; people desire safety, and safety comes in the form of familiarity. It was never about African descendents drinking from water fountains.
Canada has far less guns, even on a national average. Most people that own guns use them for hunting animals, and very few people I know think handguns are an effective home defence.
The Canadian corrections system is more focused on reform with mandatory psychological and home-ec sessions which reduces recidivism - this is very important as it keeps prison culture at a minimum whereas America has 23.4% of the world's prison population.
It's some of this topical information that fills my novels. Victoria is a micrcosm of the world at large, and it is fitting that there be monsters here.
*There is no statistical evidence to show illegal Mexican immigrants commit crime (other than the crime of being illegal). The only study I have ever seen on this subject suggests neighbourhoods with more illegals have a generally lower crime rate (this is normally attributed to illegals being more worried about getting in trouble as they would get deported).
*Temperature has nothing to do with crime rates. Russia is rife with criminal gang activity.
*Canada has a very large minority population and allows more immigrants per year than any other nation in the world.
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