A new ranking shows Oak Bay is the second-least dangerous community in all of Canada, with Greater Victoria communities ranging all over the map.
Drawing on the Violent Crime Severity Index (CSI), Macleans’ Canada’s Most Dangerous Places 2020 lists Oak Bay in 236th place, just ahead of Thames Centre, ON, Canada’s safest community. The list ranks Thompson, MB, as the most dangerous community in Canada. The survey ranks Victoria and Esquimalt as the region’s most dangerous community in 32nd place overall and ninth-most dangerous in British Columbia.
Looking at other Greater Victoria communities, Sooke finds itself in 142nd place overall, followed by Langford (171th), View Royal (173rd), Saanich (176th) and Colwood (206th).
The three communities on the Peninsula also rank the near bottom of the list, starting with Sidney (211th), Central Saanich (226th) and North Saanich (228th).
To appreciate the difference between Oak Bay on one hand and Victoria and Esquimalt on the other hand consider the following. Whereas Victoria and Esquimalt recorded 143 sexual assaults in 2018, Oak Bay recorded seven. The picture appears when it comes to property crimes. Whereas Victoria and Esquimalt recorded 614 break-and-enters, Oak Bay recorded 30. This contrast also holds up when accounting for the differences in population.
Looking at the broader picture, the ranking confirms Victoria and Esquimalt as the ‘peak’ area for regional crime, then dropping off from there towards the west, north and east, with the difference no more sharper than between Victoria and Oak Bay.
Two other factors also stand out: age and income. The older the community, the lower on the list. Central Saanich has a median age of 50.4, Oak Bay 53.6, North Saanich 56.2, and Sidney 59.8. Victoria, by contrast has a median age of 42.7. Also notable is the difference in incomes.
Whereas average after-tax income of Oak Bay households was $105,965 in 2015, Victoria’s average after-tax income of households was $58,536. Without dismissing other demographic and socio-economic factors, these figures broadly confirm the theory that younger, poorer communities record higher levels of crime than older, richer communities.
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