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Thread: Crime in Edmonton-Is it safe for women and children?

  1. #1
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    Default Crime in Edmonton-Is it safe for women and children?

    Hi everyone and thank you for this forum. I live in Toronto but have a girlfriend and uncle who lives in Edmonton. I know there is a high crime rate with regards to a high number of missing females and a possibility of a serial killer at large. I wonder if you can give me your thoughts on this subject. I hope it is ok to post this link to www.kare.ca If not please remove

    On the site www.lastlinkontheleft.com there is much evidence but little on the actual RCMP website.

    I love the city Edmonton, I love the people, but I am worried about the safety aspect.

    Can you reassure me that this is not a growing problem? Are these cases all being looked into? do the communities care? How do you feel about the Guardian angels wanting to come in?

    Please tell me your thoughts as I respect your opinons on this most important matter.

    Thanks in advance
    Dee

  2. #2
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    The communities do care. I live in the end of town where many of the disappearances have happened, and i have seen signs for several public meetings/rallys regarding public safety. While I think it likely that there is (or was) a serial killer lurking, edmonton remains safe, unless you are involved in a 'high risk lifestyle'.
    Very little violent crime is random.

    As in other cities, trouble is there if you go looking, but can be pushed away with a little vigilance. Getting to know you neighbors and keeping your eyes open for their safety helps. So do programs like blockparent and neighbourhood watch. So does having a watchful retiree across the alley.

    As for the Guardian Angels, they seem to me to be a more active community patrol, willing to confront the bad guys. I think that's a good thing.

  3. #3
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    Let me be blunt....

    Edmonton is safe. Period.

    The media has overhyped a few stories. The aforementioned serial killer seems to be targeting a specific demographic. So, unless you are contemplating a career as a lady of the evening...

    Now before anyone jumps on the comment, that is the connection that the RCMP/EPS is making. This crime spree is focused on prostitutes. I am not saying anything else as murder is murder, and evil is evil, no matter on whom.

    As for some of the more violent crimes - they seems to be localized to people who choose less than legal pastimes. They are gang on gang, or drug related. So, if you stay out of that, just like in any city, you probably have nothing to worry about. It is not like the exaggerated Gotham or Spiderman's NYC. Random violence is extremely rare.

    I walk the streets constantly. I am disabled, so more appropriately I limp the streets regularly. I am not afraid.

    Does that mean that you do not need to take precautions - no. Just like any city in Canada or the world, people need to be smart.

    Now, the Police Chief is looking into this quite seriously. Crime is crime, no matter how small.

    All of the cases are being looked into. That is a guarantee.

    As for the Angels, well, I am split on that one. The best way to combat crime is to have vigilant citizens, but not to the point of vigilantes...does that make sense? I don’t want the Angel concept to turn into the vigilante police force.

    I will say it again - Edmonton is really safe. I am not worried at all.
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  4. #4

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    I'm going to be in Toronto later this year. I will be staying 2 blocks from where the boxing day shooting was on Yonge street.

    I am not worried.

    And no one should be worried about Edmonton. It is very safe unless you are extremely reckless, stupid or unlucky.

    As to the communities caring... with regards to project Kare there have been people telling the police we had a serial killer for a while before they started looking into these cases as one. We care when women show up dead in a field, even if they were walking the street before. All of these cases were given pretty good coverage in the paper even before Vancouver/ Pickton opened peoples eyes... and I think that says something, these cases got front page treatment even though the victims were "down and outs" and there was no "serial killer" hype involved.

  5. #5

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    Overblown Hype personally. Violence isn't really any higher I'd imagine than anywhere else and being scared of a 'serial killer' so badly you'd avoid an entire city seems rather silly.

    I like it here. I rarely see violence and people are pretty casual.
    When I was in Calgary, I used to get accosted quite abit more, either by panhandlers or petty thug types. We have those too, but i've never been hassled myself.

  6. #6
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    Edmonton is safe, end of story.

    Don't join a gang or sell drugs and you should be fine.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by CSR
    I'm going to be in Toronto later this year. I will be staying 2 blocks from where the boxing day shooting was on Yonge street.

    I am not worried.

    And no one should be worried about Edmonton. It is very safe unless you are extremely reckless, stupid or unlucky.
    Edmonton is a beautiful city. I love Edmonton but know that ignoring problems and flaws will never make them go away.

    Is Edmonton safe? Edmonton is as safe as any city.

    However, I am going to call you to task for saying only “marginalized” groups are targets. I take major exception to the "extremely reckless, stupid or unlucky" moniker attached to victims of crime and violence.

    This "blame the victim mentality" is unacceptable in a so-called civilized society and very unjustified. However, this attitude is also as persuasive as the fact that some crimes are not only under-reported but also grossly under-supported.

    Here are some little known (and certainly not to be bragged about) truths about Edmonton and Alberta.

    In 1975, a national report identified Edmonton as “the sexual assault capital of Canada”. Since then Edmonton has consistentely remained in the “top-ten” for sexual violence in Canada. Yes, it is estimated that ¾’s of “victims” know their assailants in some way. This still leaves a huge “random” group.

    Alberta also has the highest domestic violence rate in Canada.

    These statistics are the downside of a booming but not deep-rooted economy.

    Was the young girl sexually assaulted in Oliver School “reckless, stupid or unlucky” for thinking that she had the right to go to the bathroom in her own school without being accosted?

    Was Cathy Greeve, aged 29 and a mother of two young boys, who was strangled in a washroom at the Churchill LRT station early in the afternoon of August 3rd, 1988 by a stranger “reckless, stupid or unlucky” for going downtown to have lunch with her husband?

    Moreover, what about Barb Danelesko, stabbed to death when she happened on a young intruder in the family home in the middle of a night in the spring of 1994 was she “reckless, stupid or unlucky” to make the mistake of getting up in the middle of the night to check her sleeping children?

    These events could have happened to anyone and the (primary) victims were in no way to blame. The secondary victims are their families, friends and society also affected in the aftermath.

    Marginalizing people is trivializing their predicaments and works from the assumption that if you are not “reckless, stupid or unlucky” nothing bad will ever happen to you. In a perfect world perhaps but sometimes, things happen to good people for no other reason than because.

    Our new police chief has promised a 14% reduction in crime rates. I know that he means it and I have no doubt that he is sincere. I just question how this will be achieved.

    Cases in point: Thursday evening downtown last week, there were many high profile events going on so lots of (well-heeled) people downtown. Drug deals going down in front of the main library, two people doing god knows what in the bus shelter in the same area and two passed out in aforementioned shelter. Where were the police? Busy, was the answer when friends called about being accosted in the square and library entrance. No police presence ever observed.

    Last Friday, downtown, smash and grab from a vehicle parked in a city-owned underground lot. Response from constable at community station when theft reported, “What do you expect me to do? It really is a waste of time to even file a report.”

    “No,” the friend said holding their ground there must be a no-tolerance policy for “petty” crime. (Of course, crime stats will go down if the police will not even take reports.)

    I do not feel unsafe downtown but I certainly do not feel safe either.

    I pass this notice on for a Memorial for Victims of Violence to be held tomorrow in Churchill Square please try to attend.

    As an aside-- Great job tonight Oilers—Western Conference Finals here we come—let’s slay those ducks.—Go Oilers Go!!!)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PAAFE and Partners are holding a Memorial for women who have been murdered and women who have been victimized by violence. We especially remember Theresa Innes and her grieving family, and the families of other murder victims.

    Sadly, we held a Memorial on May 20th, 2005 to mark the murder of Ellie May Meyer. As we send this note today, the headlines speak of the discovery of another woman's body in a field near Fort Saskatchewan. A woman was badly beaten this past weekend near Alex Taylor School. Every day in this province women and children are hit, hurt, raped, maimed or killed. We need to continue to draw public and political attention to the epidemic of violence against people in Alberta.

    Time: 12:15 - 12:45 pm
    Place: Winston Churchill Square

    Kate Quinn

    Executive Director

    PAAFE – Prostitution Awareness and Action Foundation of Edmonton

  8. #8
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    djgirl, the violent crime victims in your examples fall squarely into the extremely unlucky category. Any crime is unacceptable and random violence is particularly abhorrent but the probability of this happening to any given individual is extremely low and thus these victims are very unlucky. Calling a crime victim reckless of stupid is putting a portion of the blame on the victim, but calling them unlucky is not. When something bad happens to you just because you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you have experienced bad luck. It's not your fault.

    There is always room for improvement, but considering you had to go back to 1988 to get one of your examples I don't think we're doing all that badly as a city.

    You do have a good point about property crime though. EPS needs to take property crime much more seriously. Unlike violent crime, property crime rates are rising despite (because of?) lazy cops with bad attitudes discouraging people from reporting it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by djgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by CSR
    I'm going to be in Toronto later this year. I will be staying 2 blocks from where the boxing day shooting was on Yonge street.

    I am not worried.

    And no one should be worried about Edmonton. It is very safe unless you are extremely reckless, stupid or unlucky.
    Edmonton is a beautiful city. I love Edmonton but know that ignoring problems and flaws will never make them go away.

    Is Edmonton safe? Edmonton is as safe as any city.

    However, I am going to call you to task for saying only “marginalized” groups are targets. I take major exception to the "extremely reckless, stupid or unlucky" moniker attached to victims of crime and violence.

    This "blame the victim mentality" is unacceptable in a so-called civilized society and very unjustified.
    ]

    I fail to see how you manage to think that I am blanket blaming the victims of crime. My words do not say that... that is why there is the "very unlucky" part of the phrase.

    The two examples you cite of Cathy Grieve and the girl in Oliver school are very, very unlucky. Terrible things happened to them through no fault of their own.

    To quote you own words:
    These events could have happened to anyone and the (primary) victims were in no way to blame. The secondary victims are their families, friends and society also affected in the aftermath.

    If not very unlucky what term would you prefer I use?

    A person asked if I thought Edmonton was safe for their relatives. I replied to that ... her relatives will be safe unless they go looking for trouble or are very unfortunate. That is all. Please do not read into my words a callousness or social bias I assure you is not there.

  10. #10

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    I'm a believer in the adage "fix the problem - not the people" (victims in this case). I'm sure there are a number of tactics the City could employ to reduce the risks women and others face in our city. Of course, like crosswalk safety, cognizance is always well adviced, but better designs, parkade lighting, security cameras, patrols etc. are also useful. (I know of someone that lost important property outside of a Future Shop recently - I guess Future Shop doesn't believe in using their own products such a security cameras.) My point is, getting residents and businesses mad, embarassed and unwilling to take it anymore might also help overcome the 'not my problem' and 'not a problem' attitudes.

  11. #11

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    A good day to bump this.

    So how have things changed over the past 12 years?


    Plus adding some interesting comments including historical information that I came across tonight:

    “In 1962 there were 1.8 homicides and 254 assaults per 100,000 population in Alberta.
    By 1977 these rates had risen to 7.8 homicides and 640 assaults, ...” (see below)


    [[
    Alberta’s Quiet Revolution: The Early Lougheed Years « James H Marsh

    “...

    On the darker side of sudden prosperity and ostentatious spending were con artists, drug dealers and prostitutes. So too, despite the political excitement and economic prosperity, there was an increase in crime during the 1970s. In 1962 there were 1.8 homicides and 254 assaults per 100,000 population in Alberta. By 1977 these rates had risen to 7.8 homicides and 640 assaults, the second highest in the country and well above the Canadian average.[116] The well-reported crime increase led to widespread paranoia as the corporate elite hired bodyguards and women carried knives. Child abduction, and a well-publicized attack on entrepreneur Peter Pocklington, caught the news, but the most disturbing trend was in sexual assault. Ideologues lined up on both sides, with feminists blaming the “patriarchal society” and conservatives blaming the “permissive society.” The best finger pointing was done by Calgary Mayor Ralph Klein who blamed “creeps and bums” from Eastern Canada. But one of the most powerful portraits of the underside of the 1970s boom was the autobiography written by Maria Campbell, who moved to Edmonton in 1963. Halfbreed (1973) is her tragic personal story of poverty, prostitution and racism. It became a national bestseller and “contributed to an increased consciousness of discrimination and native rights.”[117] ...”

    [116] Property crimes increased in Alberta from 3,000 incidents per 100,000 people in 1965 to 6,300 per 100,000 in 1975 (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Catalogue No. 85-205).

    [117] Melnyk, The Literary History of Alberta, 132.

    [118] Linda McKay-Panos, “Hate Crimes in Canada,” Law Now 28 (2004): 1–4.

    [119] Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1969).




    http://www.jameshmarsh.com/2011/11/a...ougheed-years/



    Bolding mine
    Last edited by KC; 08-03-2018 at 08:37 PM.

  12. #12

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    Watch the video.

    Edmonton on BBC

    Crackdown on violent teenage 'flash mobs' - BBC News

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-...age-flash-mobs

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    Check out this little gem from someone on reddit:

    So this crew of guys might have saved my life.I was coming down the stairs after getting off the lrt, I was using the last of my phone's battery to see if stadium Donair was still open when this punk kid at the bottom of the stairs flicks open his knife at me.
    I just keep walking, **** that I ain't getting stabbed tonight. I turn and look back and he's hiding behind a pillar. The next time I turn around he's following me.
    At this point I'm nearly at the door, my mind is racing at the options I have. Which aren't a lot because he's got a knife and there's no doubt he can run faster than me.
    As I step out the door I see salvation, a crew of like 6 city workers scraping ice off the stairs. So I go over to where they are working and stand awkwardly close to them and act like I'm just vaping before walking home, hoping knifey boi just keeps walking. He doesn't. He stands on the other side of the city crew and eyeballs me while he lights a smoke.
    ****. War of attrition we got going on here. So I wait it out for a bit, but he loses patience or something and starts walking towards me. It's time to explain to these city workers why I'm standing in their way! I let the closest one know what's up and he quickly goes to his crew leader and passes the news along. The crew leader asks me what's up to confirm and then calls out knifey boi. "Hey you got a knife?" "Yea I got two knives" says knifey boi. They have a little spat. Knifey boi holding his knife, ice man holding his ice chippers like a spear. The first guy I talked to is ready to ice chip the **** out of knifey boi if he makes a move. I'm feeling pretty safe now surrounded by a city crew armed with ice Spears. Knifey boi doesn't seem to give a **** though and just keeps hanging around.
    The ice crew leader called the cops and ca[b] for me and I waited for them for a bit, unfortunately for the story my cab showed up before it all ended and I got the **** out of there, so if any of that ice crew read this, thank you, if you guys weren't there I might have been robbed or worse, and if you have the ending to this story I'd love to know what happened.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Edmonton/co...g_ice_tonight/

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    The gangs in Toronto are something else. I have a friend that lives DT Toronto. I'd say gangs are bad everywhere. I'd feel as safe in TO as I did in Edmonton, but at certain times, I wouldn't bother going out, in either place.

  16. #16

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    I really wish public safety plus cleanliness would be a higher priority for the city and civic boosters. Don't get me wrong, love seeing new developments. Adding more people creates more safety. But it's these stories that just make me shake my head. Add in the story last week about the LRT-roving crime gangs, plus all the other incidents and crime we hear and don't hear about, especially downtown (which I used to see so often when working near the SCC) and at the LRT stations. Why walk/take transit when you have to deal with this crap?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmontonian108 View Post
    I really wish public safety plus cleanliness would be a higher priority for the city and civic boosters. Don't get me wrong, love seeing new developments. Adding more people creates more safety. But it's these stories that just make me shake my head. Add in the story last week about the LRT-roving crime gangs, plus all the other incidents and crime we hear and don't hear about, especially downtown (which I used to see so often when working near the SCC) and at the LRT stations. Why walk/take transit when you have to deal with this crap?
    We need more police in certain LRT stations. The guy that simply kicked up a female down the stairs, was downright scary, and a reason I don't take the LRT alone..

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    Those videos remind me of the Knockout Game where youths randomly sucker punch passers by to see if they can knock them out. Serious injuries have resulted including deaths. Pretty sad state of affairs.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

  19. #19

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    This is sometimes a philosophical issue....what is wrong with our society and how to improve it?

    Sometimes when I come back to Edmonton from visiting Japan or Singapore, I get reverse-culture shock.

    In Singapore's case, the nanny state has severe punishment for even petty crimes. Makes for a pretty relaxed atmosphere when you're visiting. Every where is clean and orderly (a littering ticket will cost more than our standard speeding tickets here) and you don't have to be worried about getting mugged.

    In Japan, rather than tough legislation, the idea of "society first, individuals second" is so finely entrenched into the minds of everyone starting from a very young age that it creates a society that is safe and trusting. It was sort of puzzling to see people using wallets and purses and cellphones to "hog" a table at a self service restaurants before they walk to the counter to order their food and/or if they need to go to washroom.


    If I were a woman, I would have no issue traveling alone and at night in those countries. Sure, if you're dressed "provocatively" and you're in the night club districts, you might get approached or get the unwanted comments but it won't cause the "fear" that many women claim they have here. There is no trouble walking it off or brushing it off with a polite decline.

    To solve our problems, do we double down on security to achieve measurable success or do you start a series of PSAs, and have kids buy-in into the idea of community first over self-interest first? Is it even that simple? To me, our issues are not merely 'skin-deep' but rather a series of underlying issues that are being left unchecked.

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