The City of Victoria placed 55 points higher than the 2021 provincial average in terms of its Crime Severity Index. (Statistics Canada)

The City of Victoria placed 55 points higher than the 2021 provincial average in terms of its Crime Severity Index. (Statistics Canada)

Victoria’s 2021 crime severity highest among B.C.’s municipally policed communities

High urban density, social disorder present challenges for police, VicPD states

The City of Victoria faces higher crime severity than anywhere else in B.C., according to numbers released Tuesday (Aug. 2) by Statistics Canada.

Among municipally policed communities in the province, the City of Victoria topped the 2021 Crime Severity Index (CSI) list with a score of 148. The city of gardens even beat out Vancouver by a whopping 58 points.

The CSI is an annual comparison of the impact of crime on communities that sees the volume and severity of police-reported crime tracked across the country. Crimes in the index are weighted according to their seriousness and the actual sentences handed down by the courts in provinces and territories.

“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,” Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak said in a release.

In contrast to Victoria, the District of Oak Bay had the lowest crime severity amongst non-RCMP policed jurisdictions, posting a score of 29. The District of Central Saanich (34), Township of Esquimalt (45) and District of Saanich (48) had comparatively lower scores than Victoria and were each below the combined average of 93 for all B.C. communities.

As a region, the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area – including those areas policed by RCMP – received a score of 71.

Despite facing the “significant challenge” of policing a community with a high crime severity, Manak said, “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.”

Victoria has the highest urban density in the region, the largest number of liquor seats, the significant majority of multi-unit residential temporary housing facilities, making for a unique, urban policing environment, the VicPD release added.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 2


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