We've had several media inquiries today about the Statistics Canada Canadian Centre for Justice Studies Crime Severity Index and Weighted Clearance Rate Data for 2015 and want to clear up any misunderstandings about these numbers.
While the Crime Severity Index (CSI) numbers indicate that crime in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area is up 16% there are some important things about how the data is collected to know.
The Victoria Census Metropolitan Area covers an area from Sidney to Sooke. This area is policed by the RCMP and four municipal police services, including VicPD. While VicPD provides policing services to the 96,000 residents of Victoria and Esquimalt, the CSI applies to the 345,000 people who live in the entire Victoria Census Metropolitan Area so it would be inappropriate to reach conclusions about the safety of individual communities based on this data. However, the CSI for the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area has dropped 33% since 2005, a larger decrease than was experienced nationally. The Victoria Census Metropolitan Area has the lowest 2015 Crime Severity Index score of any area in BC.
Victoria and Esquimalt are safe communities in which to live, work and play. In 2014, VicPD conducted our community survey in which 77% of respondents in Victoria and Esquimalt felt that, over the previous five years, crime has stayed the same, or decreased.
Of the top concerns that citizens raised in our 2014 community survey, most were social disorder issues rather than criminal activity. VicPD remains committed to working with the City of Victoria, the Township of Esquimalt, Island Health and our other community partners to address important social issues like homelessness, panhandling, drug addiction and mental health matters.