The latest crime severity index report has been released by Statistics Canada, and Kitimat is seeing the lowest numbers in 10 years.
The crime severity index is tracked by Statistics Canada and the federal government to determine if police reported crimes are increasing in severity (more homicides versus more shoplifting) and if crime in particular regions is more severe than in others.
According to the Statistics Canada website, “(t)he Crime Severity Index tracks changes in the severity of police-reported crime by accounting for both the amount of crime reported by police in a given jurisdiction and the relative seriousness of these crimes.”
Crimes are assigned a particular “weight,” based on sentences given by courts in all of the provinces and territories.
“To calculate the actual Crime Severity Index, the number of police-reported incidents for each offence is multiplied by the weight for that offence. All weighted offences are then added together and divided by the corresponding population total,” reads the Statistics Canada website.
Now, onto the actual numbers.
Kitimat’s crime severity index (CSI) for 2015 was 70.97, down from 2014’s CSI of 81.86. The town saw a peak in crime severity in 2011, with a CSI of 102.46.
An updated population of Kitimat hasn’t been released by the government since 2011, when it was 8,335.
Compared to our neighbours Terrace and Prince Rupert, Kitimat’s CSI is low. Terrace is ranked 23rd out of 305 policing communities with populations over 10,000, and Prince Rupert is ranked 17th
Terrace is represented by both rural and municipal RCMP forces, so their numbers are divided as such. Terrace’s CSI for rural is 81.02, while their municipal CSI is 139.73. Prince Rupert’s CSI is 160.92.
The CSI is also divided by violent crime and non-violent crime, to give a more in depth look at how the trends change year by year.
Kitimat’s violent crime severity index for 2015 is 85.65, which is down from 87.08 in 2014. Prince Rupert’s is 197.95, and Terrace municipal is 145.17, with Terrace rural coming in much lower at 84.48.
Prince Rupert’s 2014 violent crime score was 184.56, which was a big jump from their 2013 number of 150.82.
For non-violent crime, Kitimat is the lowest in the area with a score of 64.48. Prince Rupert‘s score of 147.12 is still the highest in the area, with Terrace municipal coming in at 137.45, and Terrace rural having a score of 79.59.
2015 is the first year in 12 years that Canada’s crime severity index has risen, with an overall CSI of 69.7, just below Kitimat’s numbers. The violent crime severity index for Canada is 74.5, and the non-violent CSI is 67.8.
The community in BC with the highest crime severity index? Williams Lake, with an overall CSI of 244.55, a violent crime severity index of 206.9, and a non-violent crime severity index of 230.5.
North Battleford, Sask. is the community with the highest crime severity index in Canada, coming in with a score of 320.94, a violent crime severity index of 348.18, and a non-violent crime severity index of 310.37.
And the seemingly safest place in Canada based on these scores? Northumberland County, Ont, with a population of 1,1119, and a CSI of 13.82.