Monday, July 29, 2019

Victoria BC – Crime Severity Index (CSI) numbers, released by Statistics Canada last week, show that crime severity is up in VicPD’s policing jurisdiction inclusive of Victoria and Esquimalt.

The CSI or Crime Severity Index, is a Statistics Canada tool for measuring police-reported crime that tracks changes in both the severity and volume of crime (learn more about the CSI here). It is updated annually. A rise in CSI often indicates that the public are reporting more crimes to police and that these crimes are more severe.  

Statistics Canada CSI analysis mostly focuses on larger urban centres. Victoria and Esquimalt are part of the Greater Victoria Census Metropolitan Area or CMA, and much of Statistics Canada’s analysis is made at this level. However, the extended CSI data allows for understanding of trends within VicPD’s primary service areas of Victoria and Esquimalt*.

Key preliminary 2018 findings in the Victoria and Esquimalt CSI data are:

·         Victoria & Esquimalt saw a crime severity index increase of 5.15%.

·         Canada’s overall CSI is 1.9% higher nationally. The CSI for B.C. is 0%. Victoria and Esquimalt’s 5.15% crime severity increase is above the national and provincial trends – nearly 3 times the national average and over 10 times the provincial average.

·         Victoria & Esquimalt’s violent crime CSI increased 2.49%.

·         The national violent crime CSI increased by 1.4% but decreased for B.C. by 1.59%.

·         Victoria & Esquimalt’s non-violent crime CSI increased by 6.18%.

·         The national non-violent crime CSI increased by 2.4%, and increased for B.C. by 1.06%.      

·         The 2008-2018 ten-year CSI trend shows an overall drop in crime severity.

·         The 2013-2018 CSI trends shows a steady increase over the last five years.


CSI crime data only captures Criminal Code of Canada offences. Non-criminal incidents, including those involving supporting those suffering from mental health crises, sudden deaths, non-criminal traffic offences, protests, missing person and check-wellbeing calls are not captured by the CSI crime data. While crime data is a useful measure of trends in the community related to crime, it does not solely reflect all challenges related to community safety. 

Additional analysis of CSI data and trends will be continuing on the weeks and months ahead.

*As the CSI data is based on the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey on Police-Reported Crime, Victoria and Esquimalt’s crime data are reported together.