Chief of Police: Bathurst's recent danger ranking a good performance indicator

Though Bathurst's ranking, on a recent list of the most dangerous places in Canada, may not look good, the city's chief of police says it serves as a good indicator of areas needing special attention or improvement.

The annual McLean's "Canada's Most Dangerous Places" list pegs Bathurst 42nd overall in a field of 229 Canadian communities.

Chief Ernie Boudreau says the numbers are sound and are something all police agencies should be looking at.

Boudreau says the causes of crime are many, from substance abuse to socioeconomic reasons.

He says there are a number of ways to address areas of concern such as forming partnerships with and within the municipality as well as increased enforcement.

Bathurst ranked 43rd for sexual assaults, well above the national average.

Boudreau says those numbers suggest people feel comfortable enough to report such crimes to police and adds a recent audit by New Brunswick's Department of Justice and Public Safety indicates the force is handling such files well.

The chief says the city's common assault rate is somewhat worrisome but indicates the department is taking such files seriously.

He adds domestic violence cases are a high priority and that many cases of assault stem from such instances.

Boudreau says the numbers are indicative of the department holding citizens accountable for their action.

The good news, Boudreau says, is the violent crime index for Bathurst is below the national average, which shows the force is "putting out a lot of small to prevent the big fire".

Boudreau says he's been tracking and analyzing local criminal offences since 2011 in an effort to identify areas of concern as well as areas that require improvement.