(Victoria Buzz)

Victoria has the highest crime severity of any municipally policed community in the province, according to the 2021 Crime Severity Index (CSI) by Statistics Canada. 

The CSI measures the impact of crime on communities by tracking both the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada.

In the index, all crimes are assigned a weight based on their seriousness and actual sentences handed down by the courts in all provinces and territories.  

In addition to the Victoria and Esquimalt municipal CSI numbers, Statistics Canada also produces a regional CSI for the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), a combination of the municipalities that make up much of the Capital Regional District and surrounding areas.

2021 CSI for Victoria, Esquimalt, and the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area
Victoria 2021 CSI 148
Esquimalt 2021 CSI 45
Victoria Census Metropolitan Area 2021 CSI 71

 

As the downtown core for the region, the City of Victoria is challenged by a higher numbers of calls for police service, more social disorder concerns and a population with higher needs when compared to the surrounding primarily suburban municipalities.

Factors contributing to this crime rate include a high urban density (the highest in the region), the largest number of liquor seats, the significant majority of multi-unit residential temporary housing facilities, and being the provincial capital of BC. 

“The 2021 Statistics Canada data reflects a severity of crime in the City of Victoria that continues to challenge VicPD’s capacity as a police organization,” said VicPD Chief Del Manak.

“We continue to face the highest crime severity of any municipally policed community in British Columbia. Despite that significant challenge, I am proud of the work of our officers who continue to respond to a number of high-priority, resource-intensive calls on a daily basis with an unwavering dedication to public safety.”

While Victoria’s index remains high, there was a slight improvement from 2020’s index score of 168.

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