City of Victoria: 2022 – Q1

As part of our ongoing Open VicPD transparency initiative, we introduced Community Safety Report Cards as a way to keep everyone up to date with how the Victoria Police Department is serving the public.  These report cards, which are published quarterly in two community-specific versions (one for Victoria and one for Esquimalt), offer both quantitative and qualitative information about crime trends, operational incidents, and community engagement initiatives.  It is hoped that, through this proactive sharing of information, our citizens have a better understanding of how VicPD is working toward its strategic vision of “A Safer Community Together.

Description

Charts (Victoria)

Calls for Service (Victoria)

Call for Service (CFS) are requests for services from, or reports to the police department that generate any action on the part of the police department or partner agency performing work on behalf of the police department (such as E-Comm 9-1-1).

CFS include recording a crime/incident for reporting purposes. CFS are not generated for proactive activities unless the officer generates a specific CFS report.

The types of calls are broken into six main categories: social order, violence, property, traffic, assist, and other.  For a list of calls within each of these call categories, please click here.

Annual trends show a decrease in total CFS in 2019 and 2020. Since January 2019, abandoned calls, which are included in the total number of calls and can often generate a police response, are no longer captured by the E-Comm 911/Police Dispatch Centre in the same way. This has significantly reduced the total number of CFS.  Also, policy changes with regard to abandoned 911 calls from cell phones occurred in July 2019, further reducing these CFS totals.  Additional factors that have reduced the number of 911 calls include increased education and changes to cell phone design so that emergency calls could no longer be activated by a one-button push.

These important changes are reflected in the following abandoned 911 call figures, which are included in the displayed CFS totals and are largely responsible for the recent decrease in total CFS:

2016 = 8,409
2017 = 7,576
2018 = 8,554
2019 = 4,411
2020 = 1,296

Victoria Total Calls for Service – By Category, Quarterly

Source: VicPD

Victoria Total Calls for Service – By Category, Annually

Source: VicPD

VicPD Jurisdiction Calls for Service – Quarterly

Source: VicPD

VicPD Jurisdiction Calls for Service – Annually

Source: VicPD

Crime Incidents – VicPD Jurisdiction

Number of Crime Incidents (VicPD Jurisdiction)

  • Violent Crime Incidents
  • Property Crime Incidents
  • Other Crime Incidents

These charts reflect the most available data from Statistics Canada. The charts will be updated when new data is available.

Crime Incidents – VicPD Jurisdiction

Source: Statistics Canada

Response Time (Victoria)

Response time is defined as the time that elapses between the time a call is received to the time the first officer arrives on scene.

Charts reflect median response times for the following Priority One and Priority Two calls in Victoria.

Response Time – Victoria

Source: VicPD
NOTE: Times are displayed in minutes and second. For example, “8.48” indicates 8 minutes and 48 seconds.

Crime Rate (Victoria)

The crime rate, as published by Statistics Canada, is the number of Criminal Code violations (excluding traffic offences) per 100,000 population.

  • Total Crime (excluding traffic)
  • Violent Crime
  • Property Crime
  • Other Crime

Data Updated | For all data up to and including 2019, Statistics Canada reported VicPD’s data for its combined jurisdiction of Victoria and Esquimalt. Beginning in 2020, StatsCan is separating that data for both communities. Therefore, the charts for 2020 do not display data for past years as direct comparisons are not possible with this change of methodology. As data is added over successive years, however, year-to-year trends will be displayed.

These charts reflect the most available data from Statistics Canada. The charts will be updated when new data is available.

Crime Rate – Victoria

Source: Statistics Canada

Crime Severity Index (Victoria & Esquimalt)

The crime severity index (CSI), as published by Statistics Canada, measures 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.  The level of seriousness is based on actual sentences handed down by the courts in all provinces and territories.

This chart shows the CSI for all municipal police services in BC as well as the provincial average for all police services.  For VicPD’s jurisdiction, the CSI for the City of Victoria and the Township of Esquimalt are shown separately, which is a feature that was first introduced with the release of 2020 data.  For historic CSI figures that show combined CSI data for VicPD’s jurisdiction of both Victoria and Esquimalt, click here VicPD 2019 Crime Severity Index (CSI).

These charts reflect the most available data from Statistics Canada. The charts will be updated when new data is available.

Crime Severity Index – Victoria & Esquimalt

Source: Statistics Canada

Crime Severity Index (Non-Violent) – Victoria & Esquimalt

Source: Statistics Canada

Crime Severity Index (Violent) – Victoria & Esquimalt

Source: Statistics Canada

Weighted Clearance Rate (Victoria)

Clearance rates represent the proportion of criminal incidents solved by the police.

Data Updated | For all data up to and including 2019, Statistics Canada reported VicPD’s data for its combined jurisdiction of Victoria and Esquimalt. Beginning in 2020 data, StatsCan is separating that data for both communities. Therefore, the charts for 2020 do not display data for past years as direct comparisons are not possible with this change of methodology. As data is added over successive years, however, year-to-year trends will be displayed.

These charts reflect the most available data from Statistics Canada. The charts will be updated when new data is available.

Weighted Clearance Rate – Victoria

Source: Statistics Canada

Perception of Crime (Victoria)

Community and business survey data from 2021 as well as past community surveys: “Do you think that crime in Victoria has increased, decreased or remained the same during the last 5 years?”

Perception of Crime  – Victoria

Source: VicPD

Block Watch (Victoria)

This chart shows the numbers of active blocks in the VicPD Block Watch program.

Block Watch – Victoria

Source: VicPD

Public Satisfaction (Victoria)

Public satisfaction with VicPD (community and business survey data from 2021 as well as past community surveys): “Overall, how satisfied are you with the work of the Victoria Police?”

Public Satisfaction – Victoria

Source: VicPD

Perception of Accountability (Victoria)

Perception of accountability of VicPD officers from community and business survey data from 2021 as well as past community surveys: “Based on your own personal experience, or what you may have read or heard, please indicate whether you agree or disagree that the Victoria Police is accountable.”

Perception of Accountability – Victoria

Source: VicPD

Documents Released to the Public

These charts show the number of community updates (news releases) and reports published, as well the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests that are released.

Documents Released to the Public

Source: VicPD

FOI Documents Released

Source: VicPD

Overtime Costs (VicPD)

  • Investigation and specialized units (This includes investigations, specialized units, protests and other)
  • Staff shortage (Cost associated with replacing absent staff, normally for last minute injury or illness)
  • Statutory holiday (Mandatory overtime costs for staff working Statutory Holidays)
  • Recovered (This is related to special duties and overtime for seconded specialty units where all costs are recovered from outside funding resulting in no additional cost to VicPD)

Overtime Costs (VicPD) in dollars ($)

Source: VicPD

Public Safety Campaigns (VicPD)

The number of public safety campaigns initiated by VicPD and those local, regional, or national campaigns supported by, but not necessarily initiated by VicPD.

Public Safety Campaigns (VicPD)

Source: VicPD

Police Act Complaints (VicPD)

Total files opened by the Professional Standards office. Open files do not necessarily result in an investigation of any type. (Source: Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner)

  • Admissible registered complaints (complaints resulting in a formal Police Act investigation)
  • Number of reported substantiated investigations (Police Act investigations that resulted in one or more counts of misconduct being established)

Police Act Complaints (VicPD)

Source: Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner of BC
NOTE: Dates below are provincial government fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) i.e. “2019” indicates April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Case Load per Officer (VicPD)

The average number of criminal files assigned to each officer.  The average is calculated by dividing the total number of files by the authorized strength of the police Department (Source: Police Resources in BC, Province of British Columbia).

This chart reflects the latest data available. The charts will be updated when new data is available.

Case Load per Officer (VicPD)

Source: Police Resources in BC

Time Loss in Shifts (VicPD)

VicPD’s operational effectiveness can be, and has been, affected by having employees unable to work. The loss of time recorded in this chart includes both physical and mental health injuries which occur in the workplace. This does not include time lost for off-duty injury or illness, parental leave, or leaves of absence. This chart shows this time loss in terms of shifts lost by both officers and civilian employees by calendar year.

Time Loss in Shifts (VicPD)

Source: VicPD

Deployable Officers (% of total strength)

This is the percentage of officers who are fully deployable to policing duties with no restrictions.

Please note: This is a Point-in-Time calculation each year, as the actual number fluctuates widely throughout the year.

Deployable Officers (% of total strength)

Source: VicPD

Volunteer / Reserve Constable Hours (VicPD)

This is the number of volunteer hours annually performed by volunteers and Reserve Constables.

Volunteer / Reserve Constable Hours (VicPD)

Source: VicPD

Training Hours per Officer (VicPD)

Average training hours is calculated by the total number of hours of training divided by the authorized strength.  All training is accounted for including training related to specialized positions such as the Emergency Response Team, and off-duty training required under the Collective Agreement.

Training Hours per Officer (VicPD)

Source: VicPD

Source: VicPD

Victoria Community Information

VicPD continues to make progress towards our three main strategic goals outlined in VicPD Strategic Plan 2020. Specifically, in Q1, the following goal-specific work was accomplished:

Support Community Safety

  • VicPD successfully managed significant protest activity during the first quarter of 2022. January saw an occupation take hold in Ottawa and convoy-style protests targeted the James Bay and B.C. Legislature areas for a period that ultimately lasted over 10 weeks.
  • The Patrol Division continues to manage a heavy call load despite staffing shortages, but remains hopeful that additional resources are forthcoming.
  • Volunteer programs, including Crime Watch, Cell Watch, and Speed Watch, resumed normal operations as public health restrictions eased.

Enhance Public Trust

  • As staffing levels allowed, all sections within the Community Services Division continued to engage our communities through proactive patrols, virtual and in-person community meetings, and projects.
  • VicPD remains committed to ongoing and meaningful public engagement and transparency. To this end, VicPD’s Community Dashboard was updated with the latest 2021 figures, including data related to calls for service, the release of documents to the public, and community satisfaction with VicPD’s service.
  • The easing of public health orders has allowed the re-opening of the front counters in both Victoria and Esquimalt, while citizens continue to be offered many services online as well.

Achieve Organizational Excellence

  • In Q1, VicPD continued to work with the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board as well as both councils regarding the department’s 2022 budget request and associated resource requirements.
  • To meet ongoing and growing resource demands, recruiting for both officers and civilian staff remained a top strategic priority.
  • Implementation of a new Human Resources Information System continues, which promises to streamline a variety of processes across the organization.
Q1 of 2022 saw continued impacts of COVID-19 changes on officers and staff as VicPD continued our response to the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant. At the start of the quarter, to ensure our ability to respond to front-line calls for service during potential staffing shortages, the Department notified all officers that they needed to be prepared for redeployment to the front line. This notification marked the first time VicPD has enacted a clause in the collective agreement between the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria City Police Union (VCPU) to allow for this redeployment. Front counter services were again closed and VicPD volunteer programs again paused. However, due to our high vaccination rate, and thanks to sections like the Community Services Division and Investigative Services Division adjusting their schedules to ensure Patrol coverage, VicPD was able to maintain the high standard of service that our citizens expect. Officers returned to regular duties and front counter service and VicPD volunteers resumed on February 22nd.

Significant protest activity became a key public safety concern during the first quarter of 2022. January saw an occupation take hold in Ottawa and convoy-style protests targeted the James Bay and B.C. Legislature areas for a period that ultimately lasted over 10 weeks. After the federal government enacted the Emergency Measures Act and the Ottawa occupation was broken up, several key protest leaders there announced their intention to stage a second occupation in Victoria. This additional nationally-focused convoy came during an already unusually active protest season, with Patrol, Community Services Division and Greater Victoria Public Safety Unit officers having already responded to multiple protests blocking highways in Victoria.

A protest group blocking Douglas Street

While VicPD supports everyone’s right to safe, peaceful and lawful protest, dangerous and/or unlawful acts are responded to with de-escalation and enforcement. VicPD’s Traffic section, Community Services Division, Operational Planning, Investigative Services Division, Patrol, Community Engagement Division and the Greater Victoria Public Safety Unit all responded. VicPD worked directly with the community, reaching out through both traditional and social media as well as in person to keep our community proactively informed and updated as we worked to resolve the issue. On Saturday, March 19th, VicPD temporarily restricted non-local vehicles access to the James Bay area, through the establishment of controlled access points. Transit access, as well as access to the B.C. Legislature area by foot, taxi and bicycle as well as local vehicle access to area places of worship, businesses, soccer fields, restaurants and the like were not limited.

VicPD officer with PSU facilitating local vehicle only and BC Transit access to James Bay

People, but not their vehicles, were able to gather in the B.C. Legislature area for protest activity, with many thousands supporting a variety of causes doing so during the quarter. While there were over 50 traffic tickets issued, over 20 Notice and Orders given, three “anti-honking” bylaw violations issued, and three arrests, there was no major property damage, no significant assaults and no injuries reported. The declared attempts to occupy the area were avoided, and James Bay residents found relief from multiple weeks of significant disturbances including from vehicles unlawfully using modified air, truck and ship horns. VicPD officers were approached time and again and thanked for their work balancing the right to protest with public safety, and VicPD received thousands of messages of support.

Officer conducts traffic enforcement in James Bay area during convoy-style protests

On February 1st, Patrol officers arrested a 35-year-old man after an investigation into child luring in Victoria which began when a concerned father who had learned that a 35-year-old man had supplied free alcohol and other items to his teenage daughter and her friend called police. The man, who was not known to the family, had sent inappropriate text messages and given free items to the youth in efforts believed to be part of grooming them for a sexual purpose.

Several high-profile stabbings occurred in this quarter, including a March machete assault in Beacon Hill Park, a January stabbing where the victim received head injuries, and a March 1st homicide in the 500-block of Yates Street. The suspect in the homicide was identified and arrested a short time later that morning.

Officers recovered a loaded handgun, dropped by a suspect who fled into a family’s home after Patrol officers stopped to speak with a small group standing outside a residence in the 2600-block of Dowler Place on March 23rd. The mother leapt from the residence’s window with one of her children, before re-entering the home to rescue another child, while the father confronted the suspect and eventually threw the suspect from the home. The suspect was arrested by officers a short time later, and transported to hospital for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries received in his confrontation with the family.

Loaded handgun recovered by officers, dropped by suspect who fled into a family’s home

On March 29th, VicPD officers arrested a man at gunpoint minutes after he robbed a Bay Street business while armed with a knife. The man is a suspect in a series of armed robberies in both Victoria and Saanich. Officers recovered a knife and cash during the arrest. Two weeks earlier, VicPD Patrol officers arrested a different armed man 7 minutes after he attempted a rob a woman of her purse at knifepoint.

A suspect, arrested in December 2021 after a nearly year-long investigation into a series of reports of sexualized violence associated to a downtown Victoria bar and grill, was charged. Jesse Chiavaroli has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of assault with a weapon.

Officers began and then continued our search for high-risk missing man Ian Indridson, sharing his information with our community in efforts to locate him safely. Our search for Ian continues.

Strike Force continued to target organized crime related to the lower Mainland gang conflict which is working to establish footholds here in greater Victoria. In addition to seizing over $20,000 cash in a joint operation, Strike Force also seized 2.5 kilograms of fentanyl.

Coloured fentanyl seized by VicPD’s Strike Force

For other notable files, please visit our community updates page.

The emergence of the highly infectious Omicron COVID-19 variant continued to limit VicPD’s in-person engagement opportunities. However, VicPD continued to adapt and adjust to help stay connected with our community. The slow lifting of restrictions late in the quarter saw a return to in-person engagement.

Wounded Warriors Canada conducted trauma resiliency training (TRT) “train the trainer” workshops with VicPD officers and staff.  TRT is designed to provide individuals in trauma-exposed organizations like police departments with knowledge, skills and tools to help mitigate the risk of on-the-job exposure to traumatic events leading to traumatization, which in turn, helps VicPD continue to serve Victoria and Esquimalt to the best of our abilities.

VicPD officers also took part in the Wounded Warrior run, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada and other vital programs.

Sgt. Steve Kowan joins the Wounded Warrior Run team

Once again, VicPD participated in Pink Shirt Day, with many staff donning pink as we work to help end bullying.

Inspector Grant Hamilton and VicPD Chief Del Manak don pink ties for Pink Shirt Day

VicPD officers and staff also raised over $17,000 for adults with intellectual disabilities through a virtual version of the very cool Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics BC.

VicPD’s Inspectors, Deputy Chiefs and Chief Manak about to get “freezin’ for a reason” in support of BC Special Olympics

VicPD continued to build our connections with BIPOC members of our community, sharing the history of VicPD’s Black Constables during Black History month and through continued outreach. With the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions late in the quarter, officers and staff were once again able to connect in person, including spending a morning playing “haunted mini-golf” in a partnership outreach event with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness.

On March 8th, we recognized leaders like VicPD Inspector Kerrilee Jones during International Women’s Day.

Despite the challenges created by COVID-19, VicPD was able to graduate a new class of volunteer Reserve Constables in March. This class included an Oak Bay Police Department Reserve Constable, who trained alongside our new volunteer reserves.

Impaired and distracted drivers were both the focus of online and in-person month-long awareness campaigns, conducted in partnership with VicPD’s Traffic section and ICBC.

At the end of Q1 the net financial position is approximately 1.4% over budget. Revenues are below budget at 9.9% but are expected to increase as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Capital commitments are at 52% due to the carryover of purchases from 2021 and are expected to remain within budget. Total operating expenditures are 0.8% over budget. Salaries and benefits are high in the first two quarters due to the timing of benefit costs and are expected to fall below budget in the second half of the year. Overtime costs remain high as a result of maintaining front-line minimums whilst we continue to experience staffing shortages and work-related injuries. A portion of the requested overtime budget was not approved by councils which will contribute to overtime overages. Other expenditures are in line with expectations and expected to remain within budget.