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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney senior grateful for stranger’s help during medical incident

Hendrina Welter never caught a glimpse of the woman who helped her after she blacked out

Outreach initiative connects Sooke seniors to support amid COVID-19

Volunteers encouraged to sign up as need increases

Victoria company compares drone footage of city streets between August and now

Fewer cars, people seen on streets and at landmarks

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read