Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Victoria, BC – Statistics Canada has released Crime Severity Index (CSI) numbers for Victoria and Esquimalt for 2021. The Crime Severity Index is administered by Statistics Canada to measure the impact of crime on communities by tracking both the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada. In the index, all crimes are assigned a weight by Statistics Canada based on their seriousness and actual sentences handed down by the courts in all 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,” said Chief Del Manak. “We continue to face the highest crime severity of any municipally policed community in British Columbia.  Despite that significant challenge, 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.”

The chart below displays these latest CSI figures for Victoria and Esquimalt, along with the CSI figures for all municipal police services across BC as well as the average for all of British Columbia.

In addition to the Victoria and Esquimalt municipal CSI numbers, Statistics Canada also produces a regional CSI for the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). The Victoria Census Metropolitan Area is a combination of the municipalities that make up much of the Capital Regional District and surrounding areas.

2021 CSI for Victoria, Esquimalt, and the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area
Victoria 2021 CSI 148
Esquimalt 2021 CSI 45
Victoria Census Metropolitan Area 2021 CSI 71

The Victoria Census Metropolitan Area’s CSI for 2021 is significantly lower than Victoria’s 2021 CSI. The difference between these measures is indicative of the concentration of activity in the City of Victoria. As the downtown core for the region, the City of Victoria is challenged with higher numbers of calls for police service, more social disorder concerns and a population with higher needs when compared to the surrounding primarily suburban municipalities. As the jurisdiction with the highest urban density in the region, the largest number of liquor seats, the significant majority of multi-unit residential temporary housing facilities, and being the provincial capital of BC, Victoria is a unique, urban policing environment.  The Victoria Police Department has long supported amalgamation with other departments in the region in an effort to unify the resources needed to resolve the ongoing reality of public safety in the region.