Crime severity index for Victoria ticks up, still below national average

Crime severity index for Victoria ticks up, still below national average
File photo of downtown Victoria.

The crime severity index in Greater Victoria has once again increased since last year, but is still below the national average, according to Statistics Canada.

Additionally, the index is well below what it was in 1998.

Canada's crime severity index is rated at 78.1 and Greater Victoria is just below at 74.99.

This represents a 2.71 per cent increase for Greater Victoria and 4.27 per cent for the country compared to the year before.

This puts Greater Victoria at about the same level as it was pre-pandemic, where the country saw a dip in crime in the early stages of the pandemic, while the national average is still slightly below.

"The first year of the pandemic was marked by a decline in the overall volume and severity of police-reported crime, notably while lockdown restrictions were first implemented, driven by less non-violent crime," Statistics Canada said.

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Breaking the data out to violent and non-violent crimes, Greater Victoria also remains below the national average in both categories.

For violent crimes, the national average is 97.74, while Greater Victoria's is at 89.64.

In the country, the rise in violent crimes was driven by robbery (up 15%), extortion (up 39%), homicide (up 8%) and level 1 sexual assault (up 3%).

B.C. saw the largest increase in homicides, with 30 more than in 2021, followed by Manitoba with an increase of 26 homicides and Quebec with an increase of 20 homicides. There were 874 homicides in 2022.

"Indigenous people are overrepresented among victims of violence in Canada, including victims of homicide," Statistics Canada says. "Police reported 225 Indigenous homicide victims in 2022, 32 more than in 2021."

There is a just over one point difference between the non-violent crime rate in Greater Victoria compared to the national average.

Greater Victoria sits at a non-violent crime index of 69.77 and Canada sits at 70.91.

"Much of the increase in 2022 was because of higher rates of several property crimes, notably motor vehicle theft (+24%), breaking and entering (+4%), minor theft ($5,000 or under; +10%), shoplifting ($5,000 or under; +31%) and general fraud (+7%)," Statistics Canada says.

"In contrast, rates of other non-violent violations, such as drug offences (-17%), identity fraud (-11%) and identity theft (-8%), impaired driving (-3%) and administration of justice violations (-2%), were down from 2021."

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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