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What Does The New Statistics Canada Crime Data Tell Us About B.C.?

B.C. Crime Statistics

Photo: Michael Thornquist / 604 Now Flickr

Statistics Canada has released their new set of data on crime across Canada in 2018, and what the data says may come as a shock to some.

The “Crime Severity Index” is a number that takes into account crime rate, with more weight given to crimes of a more serious nature, such as violent crimes.

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B.C. Crime Statistics

In 2018, the crime severity index, from lowest to highest, for some of British Columbia’s most populated municipalities, were:

  1. North Vancouver (District): 43.81
  2. Delta: 52.68
  3. Coquitlam: 53.49
  4. West Vancouver: 62.76
  5. Burnaby: 70.98
  6. New Westminster: 74.71
  7. Richmond: 80.26
  8. Surrey: 89.50
  9. Abbotsford: 89.88
  10. Maple Ridge: 93.44
  11. Vancouver: 108.45
  12. Victoria: 117.06
  13. Kelowna: 118.77
  14. Chilliwack: 122.99
  15. Langley (City): 154.19

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The crime severity index for B.C. as a whole in 2018 was 87.67, and 75 for all of Canada.

This means that the latter half of this list has an above-average crime severity index, but let’s look into it a little further.

Violent vs. Non-Violent Crime

Of the 8 municipalities with an above-average crime severity index, only 3 — Langley, Surrey, and Vancouver —have declined since 2017.

Of the remaining 5 municipalities where the crime severity index rose, 4 municipalities rose by less than 10.5 since 2017. The lone exception: Maple Ridge, which saw their crime severity index rise from 76.02 to 93.44.

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Furthermore, because the crime severity index statistic can be broken down into violent and non-violent crime severity, we can get a better sense of the story behind these increases.

Of those same 5 municipalities that saw a crime severity index increase (Abbotsford, Victoria, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, and Kelowna), only Chilliwack saw a rise in violent-crime severity that was greater than the rise in non-violent crime severity.

What does this mean? This means that outside of Chilliwack, despite increases in the overall crime severity index, violent-crime is on the decline.

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