Volume 92, Issue 85

Wednesday, March 10, 1999


London ranks low on safety scale

Conflict motion creates conflict

Harichy arrest not for medical reasons

U of T cashes in Varsity Blues rights

Debating both pros

New rez struts its stuff in video

Prof excellence rewarded

March the month for vehicle violations


Caught on campus

Caught on campus too

London ranks low on safety scale

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

Large Canadian cities such as Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa are being called safer than London, according to a recent study released in Chatelaine magazine.

In the April issue of the magazine, London was ranked the 12th safest of 24 Canadian cities to live in. According to the study, the ranking indicates cities such as Toronto and Montreal are safer, but Windsor and Sudbury are not.

Caroline Connell, managing editor at Chatelaine, said the magazine looks at the cities every year, compiling information on a different theme. "We were surprised that a high crime rate doesn't always mean a city isn't safe."

Evelyn Vingilis, director of the population and community health unit in Western's faculty of medicine and dentistry, who also conducted the study for Chatelaine, explained the results of the study were based on the number of both intentional and unintentional deaths in each particular city since crime and injury statistics are generally inconsistent.

"People often relate death to crimes," Vingilis said. She added she hopes the results of the study will help to show otherwise.

In her research, which used statistics from 1994 to 1996, Vingilis found for every 100,000 people, intentional deaths in London averaged 11.6 whereas Montreal averaged 17.1. Despite the large difference, Montreal was ranked sixth of the 24.

Vingilis explained in Canada last year, approximately 4,000 people died from suicides, 3,000 from automobile accidents, 2,500 from falls as opposed to only 500 people who died in homicides. "The average woman in Canada is eight times more likely to die from a fall than murder. But only crime-related deaths will make it to the front page," she said.

"I'm interested to know where these numbers have come from and if they are accurate," said London Mayor Dianne Haskett who admitted she had not seen the study yet. "It's a strong message to take – there are a lot of fatalities," she said, adding London is considered a safe city nationally.

Pete Hill, VP-campus issues for the University Students' Council, said the study does not look well upon London. "This isn't coming at a good time with the stabbings that have occurred," he said.

Hill added he prefers to look at the big picture. "Even in the highest ranked cities, there are people who don't feel safe."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999