Maclean's magazine has ranked Prince George as the third most dangerous city in Canada, prompting a rebuke from Mayor Lyn Hall over the way the survey is carried out.
The newsmagazine compared the Statistics Canada crime severity index scores for 2015, released last month, for the nation's 100 largest cities to come up with the outcomes published in this week's edition.
Given Prince George's relatively small size, Hall said a spike in crime can skew the city's score.
"I would like to see us compared to other cities with perhaps that 50,000 to 80,000 mark rather than 50 (thousand) and above, when it starts to lump us into communities of 400,000, 500,000 people," Hall said Tuesday.
"I think that would give us a very accurate number, comparing us to cities of like size."
Grande Prairie, Alta. was ranked first, followed by Red Deer, Alta. Victoria and Surrey were ranked fourth and fifth with Western Canadian cities occupying the top-10 spots.
Maclean's has ranked Prince George among the most crime-ridden since the survey was first launched in 2009. For three years, starting in 2010, the city took top spot.
That Prince George no longer holds the position came as a "huge relief" to Hall.
He said local RCMP are "doing a great job protecting this community" and noted Prince George detachment Supt. Warren Brown looks at best practices from other cities and see if they can be applied here.
The Statistics Canada survey ranks all of the nation's communities with populations of at least 10,000. Out of the 305 accounted for, Prince George ranked 20th in that comparison, down one place from the year before, but still an improvement from 2009 to 2012, when it ranked as high as 12th one year, and 14th in the other three.
Statcan takes police-reported incidents for the year, assigns a weighted value to each of them based on their severity and then takes total population into account to work up a score which is then used to rank the communities.
Maclean's survey was put on hiatus in 2013 but revived this week.