Township of Esquimalt: 2023 – Q3

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 Esquimalt and one for Victoria), 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 (Esquimalt)

Calls for Service (Esquimalt)

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

Esquimalt Total Calls for Service – By Category, Quarterly

Source: VicPD

Esquimalt 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 (Esquimalt)

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 Esquimalt.

Response Time – Esquimalt

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

Crime Rate (Esquimalt)

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 – Esquimalt

Source: Statistics Canada

Crime Severity Index (Esquimalt & Victoria)

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 – Esquimalt & Victoria

Source: Statistics Canada

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

Source: Statistics Canada

Crime Severity Index (Violent) – Esquimalt & Victoria

Source: Statistics Canada

Weighted Clearance Rate (Esquimalt)

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 (Esquimalt)

Source: Statistics Canada

Perception of Crime (Esquimalt)

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

Perception of Crime (Esquimalt)

Source: VicPD

Block Watch (Esquimalt)

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

Block Watch – Esquimalt

Source: VicPD

Public Satisfaction (Esquimalt)

Public satisfaction with VicPD (community and business survey data from 2022 as well as past community surveys): “Overall, how satisfied are you with the work of the Victoria Police?”

Public Satisfaction – Esquimalt

Source: VicPD

Perception of Accountability (Esquimalt)

Perception of accountability of VicPD officers from community and business survey data from 2022 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 – Esquimalt

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 are provincial government fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) i.e. “2020” 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

Esquimalt Community Information

Operational Update
The summer quarter kicked off with a very busy Canada Day as we returned to pre-COVID festivities in the city. Our officers, reserves, and staff were on hand to  ensure the Canada Day events in Victoria were safe for everyone.

We know traffic safety is a concern for the Township, and it remains one of our top priorities. The Traffic section has been conducting proactive work at a number of target intersections and locations. With school coming back in session in September, we also focused efforts on safety through education and enforcement around school zones. This was a coordinated effort with members of the Traffic Section, Reserve officers, and VicPD Volunteers.  

Major Crimes detectives had success in arresting an arson suspect who is suspected of causing more than $2 Million in damage in Victoria and Nanaimo, and were a contributing agency to a large financial fraud file. VicPD’s Strike Force also assisted with surveillance on a number of files for outside agencies which have led to arrests.

We also welcomed five new officers to VicPD in July as they completed their first block of training at the Justice Institute of BC.


Calls for Service
Quarter 3 saw a jump in the overall calls for service for Esquimalt, as we often see at this time of year, but dispatched calls were in-line with the same time period last year.  
When we look at the 6 broad call categories for Esquimalt, we see a significant jump in the number of calls for social order, which is also higher than the calls for service over the same period last year.  

Files of Note
File: 23-29556 
On August 12, officers were called to assist an 82-year-old female who was assaulted while walking her dog behind a school in the 600-block of Lampson Street. The complainant’s injuries were minor, and the suspect was arrested shortly after

File: 23-29040  
On August 9, VicPD received information from RCMP about a possible stolen dinghy boat abandoned in the water, near the 400-block of Foster Street. Officers retrieved the boat, confirmed it was stolen and were able to return it to its owner. Stolen fishing gear was also recovered and returned after referencing the description with a previous file. 

Large Demonstration Activity
We also saw a significant event on the Legislative grounds in Q3, when two opposing groups demonstrated on the same day, with approximately 2,500 people in attendance. The tension and conflict quickly escalated and violent action led to a call-out for all available officers working that day to attend. With the continued tension and dynamics, and the size of the crowd in attendance, we determined that the environment was no longer safe for planned activities, such as speeches and a march, to continue and we issued a statement asking everyone to leave the area.

VicPD Volunteers conducted Bike Patrol and Foot Patrol shifts throughout the Township this summer. Although they can’t respond to incidents in progress, their presence provides a deterrent to crime and because they are connected by radio, they can call in anything they observe directly to E-Comm. 

Cst. Ian Diack continues to support our local business community through Project Connect, where he attends various businesses in the Township on a routine basis and engages business owners and staff. This is an ongoing effort to build relationships with the business community and provide crime prevention suggestions. 

 

Traffic officers and VicPD Volunteers also conducted Back to School speed awareness throughout Esquimalt over the first two weeks of September. Traffic officers were highly visible in our school zones and used a combination of education and enforcement to enhance the safety of staff, students, and their families. This was accompanied by a Back to School safety campaign on our social media channels.  

Finally, we welcomed 12 new VicPD Volunteers at the end of August. We are now at 74 civilian volunteers, which is the largest our program has been in recent memory. 

The summer quarter is one of our busiest times for Community Engagement, with attendance and participation in numerous events and festivals, and a lot of opportunities for our officers to interact with the public during tourist season. You can find many of our Community Engagement activities on our social media channels, but it’s difficult to capture all the ways that our officers are proactively reaching out to citizens on a daily basis. 

In addition to Department-led activities, our Community Resource Officers were busy maintaining relationships with community partners and addressing concerns throughout the Township. Our officers are highly engaged with the Township’s community and regularly attend events, some of which are included below. 


On July 1, VicPD supported the Capital’s Canada Day celebrations, ensuring a safe and family-friendly event for everyone.  


On July 8, we celebrated both the Festival Mexicano and Festival of India


On August 9, Insp. Brown attended the Veteran’s March to observe and provide security for the event. 


In August, Chief Manak and other officers attended Music in the Park events. 


Chief Manak inspired youth at summer camps held at the Gurdwara.


On August 26, VicPD officers greeted Sachin Latti at the finish line as he completed 22 marathons in 22 days to benefit first responders and veterans. 


September 8-10 Insp. Brown and several Special Duty officers supported the annual Rib Fest event at Bullen Park. The event was a success with only a few minor incidents.


On September 25, VicPD hosted the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness for a matinee movie. 

The removal of School Liaison Officers and new restrictions on police attendance to local schools continues to be of utmost concern and provides a challenge for community engagement as we moved into the back-to-school period. This effort is ongoing with the Chief, Insp. Brown, and community partners.  

At the end of the 3rd quarter, the net financial position aligned with the budget approved by the Police Board and approximately 2% above that approved by councils. Salaries, benefits, and overtime were in line with the approved budget. Expenditures for retirements, building operations, and professional fees were over the approved budget. Capital expenditures were below budget and are expected to remain below budget due to the cancellation of a capital project to preserve reserve balances and as a result of reductions made to the capital reserve through the budget process.