Comparing apples to oranges

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When a report presented to city council shows Airdrie has four times the number of domestic violence incidents per year than other Alberta municipalities, it’s concerning. The results of the report even caused an uproar in some local social media groups.

Of course a 400 per cent increase sounds alarming, but it’s important for people to remember to look into the facts before blaming local organizations that work hard to support victims of domestic violence.

Representatives of the Airdrie RCMP, Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society and North Rocky View Community Links attended the council meeting June 5 to discuss the facts behind the report – which was conducted by Onward Consulting hired by the city’s social planning department and presented to council May 15 (see story on page one).

Airdrie RCMP Sgt. Kimberley Pasloske said the report showed such a large number because Airdrie RCMP’s domestic violence definition was being compared to city police’s definition, which can be completely different. She said Airdrie actually has a 21 per cent increase in incidents per year when compared to similar municipalities. That’s still quite a jump, but it’s much better than 400 per cent.

Rather than comparing apples to oranges, we should be comparing apples to apples.

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