According to the crime statistics there has been an increase in Fort McMurray crime, but the current numbers are still lower than the high seen in 2008. Fort McMurray saw a rating of 94.54 incidents per 100,000 people, and the community saw a rise in the Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index of over 2.5%. This increase erased the steady gains that were achieved over the last 7 years. The report also shows that the number of actual incidents that were recorded has dropped. Starting in 2009 and continuing until 2015 the trend in Wood Buffalo was one of lowering crime, but some do not think the recent increase is too much to be concerned about. Both Fort McMurray Mayor Melissa Blake and Wood Buffalo RCMP superintendent Rob McCloy agree that the area has seen worse days in the past.
The rise in crime statistics in Fort McMurray does not indicate a need for alarm though. According to Mayor Blake “I hate to accuse everyone leaving town of being a criminal, but that element is a lot rarer these days. I think the actual trends in recent years show the true reality of Fort McMurray.” Superintendent McCloy explained “I wouldn’t address any of it to oil prices at all. Any community has issues. A few less people in town doesn’t mean crime has changed. We were already going down. The changes are due to a shifting attitude in policing. Intelligence-based policing is what we’re getting good at. We’re cooperating with ALERT and bylaw, the sheriffs and other agencies. If you can shift from being reactive to crime to proactive, it changes things a lot. Are there still challenges we’re facing? I’d be lying if I said no. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t drugs coming into the community. The StatsCan numbers and the municipal census shows the difference in population, so the stats are a bit skewed. But on the ground, we’re seeing less and less crime, and we’re getting better and better at fighting it.”