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

B.C. Crime Statistics

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

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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