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EDITORIAL: There aren’t many places safer than Okotoks

Crime Severity Index shows Okotoks is the second safest large community in Alberta.
Police Cruiser Adobe

It might not be top of mind, or perhaps even taken for granted, but it’s worth noting that Okotoks is one of the safest places to live in this province. 

The Crime Severity Index, an annual measurement of the volume and seriousness of crime in Canada, showed that of all Alberta communities with a population of at least 10,000, Okotoks had the second lowest figure at 40.3. That number, which is derived by assigning numeric values to all criminal activity, doesn’t mean a lot in isolation, but it does allow a comparison with other jurisdictions to provide some context. 

Of the 30 largest towns and cities in the province, 11 had a CSI in excess of 100 and eight more checked in at 80 or higher, which means Okotoks’ figure is less than half what it is in most other places. In other words, it’s pretty darn safe, yet that’s not necessarily top of mind around here. 

The Town’s 2022 Citizen Satisfaction Survey asked people to rate quality of life in Okotoks (98 per cent said good or very good) and provide reasons why they chose a particular rating. It was a little surprising that safety was the sixth most frequently offered comment — behind shopping, recreation and nature, among others — even though the survey found that 95 per cent of respondents felt safe in their neighbourhoods and 91 per cent said they felt safe in parks and playgrounds. 

The most frequently mentioned factor contributing to this sense of safety was good neighbours (42 per cent), so perhaps small-town vibe, which was the most popular comment when it came to quality of life, also includes a safety component. Small towns are generally safer, although it should be noted that of the 28 places with a higher CSI rating, 14 have smaller populations than Okotoks.   

Interpret the comments any way you like, but the bottom line is that Okotoks is a safe place to live.