Figures show Saanich’s Crime Severity Index rose by almost 16 per cent to 42.57 per cent for 2018.
While notable, the increase means that Saanich’s rate lies below Greater Victoria’s average of 63.6 per cent in 2018, itself 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.
Relative to its population size and regional neighbours, Saanich has a low CSI. Victoria’s 2018 CSI stood at 117.06, a 5.15-point increase from the previous year and a figure well above the provincial rate of 87.67. Consider also the CSI of Saanich with a 2016 population of 114,148 to the CSI of Kelowna with a 2016 population of 127,380. Kelowna’s stood at 118.77 — well above Saanich’s at 42.57 per cent.
Most of Saanich’s increase stems from an increase in non-violent crimes, which rose almost 20 per cent. By comparison, the violent crime severity index rose by 3.29 per cent.
Looking at other communities in the region, Oak Bay’s CSI stood at 27.11, down from 40.25 per cent. Langford’s CSI stood at 50.50 per cent, up from 47.26 per cent in 2017, but down from recent highs of 55.05 per cent in 2014 and 57.91 in 2015.
The Saanich Peninsula, meanwhile, remains among the safest regions in Greater Victoria, if not British Columbia and Canada.
Central Saanich’s CSI stands at 33.27 per cent. Sidney/North Saanich recorded a CSI of 66.98 per cent, above Saanich’s but well below Victoria’s.
The Saanich News has asked Saanich Police for comment and will update this story accordingly.