FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Statistics Canada has released their index of police-reported crimes across the country, and things aren’t looking great for the Peace Region, and indeed the country as a whole.
According to Stats Canada, police-reported crime as measured by both Crime Severity Index and crime rate increased across the country last year. This marks the first rise in police-reported crime in 12 years. The national Crime Severity Index grew 5% from 2014 to 2015, although it was still 31% lower than it was a decade earlier in 2005.
The Crime Severity Index metric was established by Stats Canada to assign more weight to more serious crimes in a given police jurisdiction, due to the fact that 40% of crimes reported nationwide are comprised of two relatively minor offences: Theft under $5,000, and Mischief.
In the BC Peace Region, both Fort St. John and Dawson Creek saw increases in their municipal crime severity indices. Fort St. John’s C.S.I. jumped by sixteen percent from 2014 to 165.46 last year, while the increase of the C.S.I. in Dawson Creek to 179.35 was nearly double; roughly thirty percent. The highest C.S.I. in Canada was in North Battleford, Saskatchewan at 320.94. Williams Lake ranked 4th at 224.95, while Grande Prairie’s score of 211.57 placed it 6th.
The violent crime severity index, which includes offences such as: homicide, assault, sexual assault, uttering threats, robbery, and firearms offences tells a similar story. Fort St. John’s violent crime severity index jumped nearly 64%, to 221.68. That score was 4th nationwide, ranking only behind North Battleford, Prince Albert, and Thompson, Manitoba. In 2015, there were 668 violent Criminal Code violations in the Energetic City, up from 579 in 2014. In contrast, Dawson Creek had a violent crime score of 173.4, Grande Prairie’s was 187.39, and Williams Lake ranked 7th at 206.9.