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

Large scale flood forces Saanich rec centre to close

Extent of the damage unknown at this point

Second beach closed to swimming at Elk/Beaver lakes

Island Health, CRD do not recommend swimming at Hamsterly or Eagle beaches

Stolen power tools, laptops, comic books, artwork recovered in vacant Langford home

West Shore RCMP look to reunite stolen property with rightful owners

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Gift card fraud ends with $2,000 in losses for Victoria residents

Victoria Police Department warning residents to be on the lookout for scammers

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read