Crime index rises for 1st time in 12 years

July 21, 2016
Jul 20 2016 OTTAWA - A "notable" uptick in police-reported crime in Alberta contributed to the first increase in the national rate in 12 years, Statistics Canada says. The national Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime, jumped five per cent from 2014 to 2015, the federal agency said Wednesday. An 18 per cent increase in Alberta, combined with smaller increases in British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan, contributed to push the CSI up.

Jul 20 2016

OTTAWA - A "notable" uptick in police-reported crime in Alberta contributed to the first increase in the national rate in 12 years, Statistics Canada says.

The national Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime, jumped five per cent from 2014 to 2015, the federal agency said Wednesday.

An 18 per cent increase in Alberta, combined with smaller increases in British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan, contributed to push the CSI up.

In all, eight out of 13 provinces and territories reported an increase in the CSI by the end of last year.

Calgary had the highest increase in the crime rate of all cities, at 25 per cent, followed by Moncton, N.B., at 21 per cent and the Abbotsford-Mission area in B.C. at 15 per cent.

"Since the inception of the CSI in 1998, there have only been three other occasions when a provincial increase of 10 per cent or more was seen," Statistics Canada said in a release.

The traditional police-reported crime rate, which measures the volume of police-reported crime relative to population size, rose by three per cent nationally.

A gain in the national non-violent CSI was partly the result of an increase in property crime, "most notably in Alberta," the agency said.

Alberta's uptick was primarily due to an increase in incidents of breaking and entering, theft of $5,000 or under, and motor vehicle theft.

Those crimes also helped pushed up the CSI rates in New Brunswick by 13 per cent, in Saskatchewan by 10 per cent and in the Northwest Territories by 10 per cent.

Twenty of Canada's 33 census metropolitan areas reported increased CSI rates. A 29 per cent surge in Calgary was the biggest, followed by a 20 per cent increase in Moncton, a 16 per cent increase in Victoria, a 16 per cent increase in Edmonton and a 14 per cent increase in Abbotsford-Mission.

The two cities with the highest CSIs in 2015 were Saskatoon, at 112.5, and Regina, at 107.6.

Statistics Canada says to calculate the CSI, each violation is assigned a weight based on its incarceration rate and the average length of prison sentence handed down by the courts.

Weighted offences are added up and divided by the population. The CSI is then standardized to a numerical value of 100 based on data from the year 2006. "In other words, all CSI values are relative to the Canada-level CSI for 2006," the agency says.

Western provinces all reported CSIs and crime rates in 2015 that were higher than the national average, with Saskatchewan continuing to record both the highest CSI, at 135.8, and crime rate, at 11,178 incidents per 100,000 people.

Across the country, the rates of most Criminal Code offences were up in 2015, with 1.9 million incidents (excluding traffic) reported by police, about 70,000 more than in 2014.

Rates for some violent offences increased, including:

Attempted murder: 22 per cent. Firearms offences: 22 per cent. Homicide: 15 per cent. Robbery: 5 per cent. Sexual assault: 4 per cent.

The rates for all types of property crimes also rose:

Fraud: 15 per cent. Possession of stolen property: 13 per cent. Identity fraud: 9 per cent. Vehicle theft: 6 per cent. Breaking and entering: 4 per cent.

(CBC News)

Jul 20 2016 OTTAWA - Here is a look at the percentage change in the rate by province in 2015 from the previous year.

Canada: 3

Newfoundland and Labrador: 4

Prince Edward Island: -12

Nova Scotia: -9

New Brunswick: 10

Quebec: -3

Ontario: 0

Manitoba: 5

Saskatchewan: 6

Alberta: 12

British Columbia: 3

Yukon: 0

Northwest Territories: 1

Nunavut: 4

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