Saturday, February 13, 2010

28 Reasons I Love Hamilton... Reason 13

Why write 28 reasons I love Hamilton?

1. Hamilton is a CITY.
2. The Location
3. The size (population)
4. The scale
5. Creativity and the arts
6. The buildings
7. The nature
8. The film industry
9. The markets and restaurants
10. The trails, paths, and running routes
11. Gore Park
12. The climate

13. The safety

Crime across Canada continues to drop. And as far as big cities go, Hamilton's incredibly safe.

And as far as the largest 100 cities in Canada go, it's below the national average for most crimes.

I've seen dozens of articles on studies on this, but here's a more recent Maclean's one that cites StatsCan data.

For example, I'm less likely to be victim of a break and enter than I am in most areas - even less likely than Niagara.

Nasty things like sexual assault also happen less here then most other cities. (Although I'm not stupid - I know that does happen rarely - recently there was a random attack and SA a couple kilometres from here).

Murder rates are very low. That speaks for itself.

And while Hamilton ranks 15th or so in how likely you are to be robbed (higher than the national average), it's still one of the lowest rates as far as major cities go - lower than Victoria, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, or Vancouver and a dozen others

And like every city, there's areas where this stuff concentrates.
There's some neighbourhoods where you call the cops and they're not likely to come.

But most of our crime is petty or related directly to an activity that people choose to be involved in... and you can safeguard yourself against the one, and decide not to get involved in the other.

Living in Toronto I got used to keeping my head up, always wearing my purse on a long strap across my body (so it can't be snatched) and looking around when I walk. I don't usually carry anything worth taking - no phone, no money, nothing like that. And safeguarding yourself like that is second nature. And I worked in some pretty high-crime areas... and stayed out of trouble.

So I feel fine going to the store or to deposit a cheque at the ATM at midnight, along the better-traveled routes. (It's also well-lit and there's always people around, much more than I can say for the smaller town I lived in). If I'm traveling during the day, I don't worry a bit. I know if Jarod and I decide to go for a walk in the early a.m., we're good. And I know which places I won't go to too.

Sure, I know I'm not invincible, and I know that crime happens, whether you're in Niagara or Toronto or Saskatoon. And I also know that crime in Canada is low. Considering all that, Hamilton's a very safe option.

As far as cities go, it's really safe here. And that's another reason I love Hamilton.

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