I think this story over at the Winnipeg Free Press merits some comments. In the story they have this bit in the story titled "Homicide Capital of Canada":
Homicide capital of Canada.The funny thing is, I went over to the Statistics Canada website and found a report on crime stats issued by this Canadian government agency the day before this story appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press. I am going to assume that this is the report that they were referring to since there are no direct links to the report in the article.
Violent crime capital of Canada.
These are the inglorious honours given to Winnipeg following the release of a new report by Statistics Canada.
A national survey of police-reported crime data for 2011 found Winnipeg and Manitoba had the highest homicide rates in the country, and Winnipeg had the most violent crime.
Winnipeg had a homicide rate of 5.1 per 100,000 residents -- highest among major Canadian communities and Winnipeg's highest since the data were first collected in 1981.
After looking at the report, it would appear that Winnipeg does have a higher number of reported violent crimes than other communities in Canada. However, I could not find anywhere that Statistics Canada dubs Winnipeg with the moniker "Homicide capital of Canada" or "Violent crime capital of Canada". I can only assume that this is something the newspaper came up with. It's either that or that the Canadian government has some strange contests.
I know that often times these kinds of lurid headlines catch the reader's attention and sell newspapers. But do these types of headlines help the communities that get stuck with these unfortunate monikers? If your community gets labeled with a lurid moniker like this, how do you mitigate the damage caused and work towards making your community safer?