Victoria’s crime severity index rose to 63.6 per cent in 2018

Greater Victoria sees crime severity index rise

Fraud cases rise 31 per cent over previous year

Greater Victoria, with a population of 395,651 is one of the safest places in Canada compared to the rest of the country, according to new statistics. But they also show the region is struggling with a distinct set of issues, mainly an increase in fraud-related crime.

According to Statistics Canada, Victoria recorded a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 63.6 in 2018, up five per cent. The CSI is a police-reported measure of crime that measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada, with an index value of 100. In 2018, the national CSI was 75 — up for the fourth straight year.

So with a rate of almost 64, the Greater Victoria is below the national average, and ranks as the safest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in British Columbia. By comparison, Kelowna records a CSI of 100.7, followed by Abbotsford-Mission (90.1) and Vancouver (84.3). Quebec City is Canada’s safest CMA with a CSI of 44.7, while Lethbridge ranks as the worst with a CSI of 137.

But the Victoria’s CSI also give reason for some concern compared to the recent past. It is higher than the CSI of several larger metropolitan areas — Toronto’s CSI is 53.6, for example — and rising.

Compared to the previous year, Victoria’s CSI rose five per cent, with most categories of crime up with the most significant increase in the category of fraud. It rose 31 per cent, one of the largest increases anywhere in the country. Other categories also recorded higher rates. Property crimes rose 11 per cent, violent crimes six per cent, and other criminal offences two per cent.

So what accounts for the increase? One possible reason might be the region’s demography.

Victoria is a relatively older community and fraudsters tend to target older individuals.

RELATED: VicPD help Esquimalt businesses avoid becoming victims of crime

RELATED: Fraud Prevention Month: Rental and romance scams big in Greater Victoria

RELATED: VicPD recovers more than $35,000 from international online money scam

This said, drug offences dropped 25 per cent, and the region recorded two homicides in 2018.

By comparison, Abbotsford-Mission (population: 195,726) and Kelowna (population: 210,961) respectively recorded six and two homicides. Kelowna, meanwhile, recorded the highest rates of opioid offences anywhere in Canada with 101.

All this said, the larger picture shows crime at historically low rates. Despite the increase, the national CSI was 17 per cent lower in 2018 than a decade earlier.

wolfgang.depner@

saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Sooke ‘s interest in 3D printing is growing

Technological advances ean that creation is limited only by imagination

North Saanich woman arrested after police pursuit, alleged abduction at elementary school

Two police officers were injured and one police vehicle damaged

Single dad reaches out to Greater Victoria community to help kids celebrate Christmas

A young family was overwhelmed with the warm response from strangers

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

Most Read