Monday, April 15, 2024

Despite most Vancouver Islanders thinking crime is on the rise, statistics say otherwise


Since 2018, the number of British Columbians on Vancouver Island and across the province who have been victims of crime has remained stable. 

Despite this fact, a survey conducted by Research Co., a BC-based polling and statistics firm, indicates that 59% of British Columbians believe whole-heartedly that crime is on the rise. 

On Vancouver Island specifically, 63% wrongly believe that crime is on the rise, 29% are correct in believing it’s stayed the same, and only 4% believe it’s decreased. 

“The perceptions of British Columbians on criminal activity have worsened every year since we started asking these questions in 2018,” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. 

“During the same period, there has been little movement when residents of the province are asked if they were victims of a crime that merited a police report.”

(Research Co.)

On Vancouver Island, only 12% of respondents “yes” to the question of if they’ve been the victim of a crime that warranted police action in the last four years. 

That is the lowest percentage of any region in BC with Metro Vancouver at 16%, Fraser Valley at 27%, northern BC at 27% and southern BC at 19%. 

When British Columbians were asked what is to blame for the crime in their communities, the majority of those surveyed at 59% believe addiction and mental health issues are in-part to blame.

Other factors that BC residents blamed are gangs who deal in drug trafficking at 41%, an inadequate judicial system at 39%, poverty and inequality at 34%, improper education of youths at 28%, unemployment at 22% and coming in low on that list,  insufficient police resources at 22%.

According to the survey, 11% of British Columbians even believe that “immigrants and minorities” are a factor in the crime taking place in BC. 

When asked if Vancouver Islanders fear becoming a victim within their communities, only 9% responded “a great deal” which is again, the lowest among the other BC regions surveyed. 

Vancouver Islanders were also asked how safe they feel in their neighbourhoods on the survey. To this question, 70% said they feel safe while 30% said they do not feel safe. 

Overall, the results of the survey show that in spite of the reality that most Vancouver Island and BC communities are intrinsically safe, people are somehow being made to believe that they are in danger.

Curtis Blandy

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