City of Victoria: 2024 – 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 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

Source: VicPD

Victoria Community Information

Overview

New Cybercrime Section Launched

In January, we launched the new Cybercrime section at VicPD. Already, this unit has had an impact, contributing to the recovery of funds in a $1.7 Million fraud and money laundering case, and recovering cryptocurrency for four other victims. Cybercrime staff have been raising awareness of cyber security within VicPD, increasing our capacity to educate and better serve our communities.  

Ongoing Demonstration Activity 

In October, weekly demonstrations surrounding the activity in Gaza began taking place in Victoria. These demonstrations require significant police resources to keep participants and the community safe, and continued into 2024. These events are staffed through overtime requests, placing additional strain on our resources as officers build towards exhaustion without proper breaks, though most costs are recovered through a Memorandum of Understanding with the B.C. Legislature. 

Project Lifter 

From February 9-11, officers conducted proactive shoplifting enforcement during a continuation of Project Lifter. In total, 23 arrests were made during this three-day period, and all were recommended charges. The project and associated funding were approved by SITE (Special Investigations & Targeted Enforcement – RCMP).  The project utilized partnerships with Loss Prevention Officers to target multiple businesses.

Project Lifter was created in response to ongoing concerns from local businesses about regular retail theft and increased violence when there are attempts by staff to intervene, and the impact this has on business operations and staff safety. This is the second segment of Project Lifter which began as an eight-day retail theft project in December 2023 and forms a part of VicPD’s ongoing efforts to target retail theft and the associated violence 

Welcoming New Faces 

On January 4, we welcomed 7 new recruit constables to VicPD.  On March 8, we celebrated 5 graduates from the Justice Institute of BC. These new constables have now hit the streets on Patrol. 

Officer Recognition

On January 30, frontline personnel and members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) were recognized at an awards ceremony hosted by the Saanich Police DepartmentThe GVERT received a team award from the National Tactical Officers Association. 

Project Halo

In January, VicPD’s Strike Force arrested a man with a known association to the B.C. gang conflict, after he was observed selling vape products to students just outside school property.  

As part of an ongoing covert operation, dubbed Project Halo, officers observed the suspect selling vape products and interacting with students on and near school property in and around the Greater Victoria area during the day. The suspect was seen selling to youth across from local schools including Esquimalt High School and Reynolds Secondary School, and was also observed interacting with youth on the property of North Saanich Middle School after school hours. 

Items seized from the suspect include: 

  • 859 nicotine vapes 
  • 495 THC vapes 
  • 290 THC gummies 
  • 1.6 kilograms of dried cannabis 
  • Four imitation firearms 
  • Three knives 
  • Two masks 
  • Composite brass knuckles 

Calls for Service

Calls for service remained steady in most categories during the first quarter of the year. When looking at the 6 broad categories of calls, there was a notable drop in calls for Property Crimes and Traffic. Compared to the same period in 2023, however, Social Order calls were up significantly, while calls for Violence were slightly down. Overall, calls for service in Victoria were reduced by approximately 350 over the same time period last year. A breakdown of the 6 categories can be found here. 

Files of Note

24-1743: A Patrol officer conducting proactive patrols in the downtown core witnessed a man spit on the face of a woman pushing a baby in a stroller, near the intersection of Quadra Street and Yates Street on January 16. The suspect was arrested nearby, but the victim left the area. The victim saw VicPD’s media release and social media posts asking her to come forward and she was able to connect with the investigator. As a result, an Assault charge was able to be approved. The assault was believed to be random. 

24-2512, 24-2513, 24-2508: On January 23 A man was arrested outside VicPD headquarters after randomly stabbing a cyclist and committing a series of offences at a downtown childcare facility earlier that day. The victim was passing by on a bicycle when they were approached by the suspect and slashed with a knife. The victim was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect had entered a downtown childcare facility approximately one hour prior to the stabbing incident. Once inside, the suspect stole a tablet and pulled the fire alarm before leaving the building. The accused was charged with six criminal offences including Assault Causing Bodily Harm, Mischief, Theft and Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose. 

24-2596: Around 4:00 p.m. on January 23, officers attended the intersection of Douglas Street and Pembroke Street after a motorcycle veered into oncoming traffic and struck a pick-up truck travelling Southbound. Lifesaving efforts were provided by, but unfortunately the motorcyclists succumbed to their injuries. A busy area for commuters during this time, the road was closed for several hours while Traffic Analysts gathered evidence. No criminality or foul play was suspected. 

24-3500: VicPD received multiple calls about a man swinging a hatchet around in a busy downtown area just before 7:00 p.m. on January 30. Officers attended and located the man near the 1200-block of Government Street. When he was approached, he ignored commands from officers and pulled the hatchet out from his jacket. As a result, a less-lethal beanbag round was deployed to his thigh, and he was taken into custody. 

24-3688: On February 1 VicPD received multiple reports of vehicles being vandalized in the Fernwood and Oak Bay area. Later that evening, the lower Cook Street area was also targeted. Upwards of 70 vehicles were affected, causing a massive inconvenience to the community. Officers conducted an extensive search for the suspect and with helpful tips from the public, VicPD’s General Investigation Section was able to locate and arrest the accused. Charges of Mischief were approved.

22-31443: During a coordinated investigation that began in 2022, officers arrested a man involved in several “rental scam” frauds, where he would collect deposits with prospective tenants and provide written agreements and key fobs, but no property existed. On February 12, the accused, Brandon Wildman, was sentenced to 42 months in jail and ordered to pay restitution to the victims upon release. He was convicted of seven counts of Fraud and had a criminal history including eight prior convictions for fraud. 

24-8742: VicPD Patrol officers alongside members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT), including trained crisis negotiators, attended a multi-unit residential building in the 200-block of Michigan Street for report of a stabbing inside one of the residences on March 12. Upon arrival, the victim was found outside the building with non-life-threatening injuries, while the suspect barricaded herself in the suite. Extensive efforts to resolve the incident occurred throughout the night, while officers secured the area and advised neighbours to shelter in place. Over eight hours later, the suspect was still non-compliant and a warrant to enter the property was granted by a Judicial Justice. GVERT members breached the door to the residence and arrested the suspect without incident. 

24-10673: Proactive patrols and intelligence received by plainclothes officers led to the arrest of a 65-year-old male on March 28, after he committed an indecent act on a BC Transit bus while seated next to a 12-year-old girl. The accused, Timothy Bush, was charged with Committing an Indecent Act and Exposing Genitalia to a Minor. VicPD reaffirmed its stance to believe all victims of sexualized violence or indecent acts and support those that have the immense amount of courage to come forward.   

Our work to take action against gangs in Greater Victoria continues; VicPD hosted a Gang Symposium in February, bringing together officers from across Vancouver Island to share information and raise awareness about current gang presence and recruitment tactics. Officers also participated in a talk on gangs at Oak Bay High School.  

During the month of March, VicPD Traffic Officers, Volunteers and Reserves conducted a Distracted Driving awareness and enforcement campaign, writing a total of 81 tickets. 

On January 20, Victoria hosted Hockey Day in Canada. VicPD supported security efforts throughout the city and hosted NHL Street games for youth.  

In January and February, the Victoria City Police Athletic Association hosted Junior and Senior Basketball Tournaments for youth.  

On February 18, Chief Manak, Insp. Brown and a contingent of VicPD officers and reserves participated in the annual Polar Plunge event to help raise money for Special Olympics. The team raised almost $14,000 and Chief Manak was recognized as the top law enforcement fundraiser in the province. 

On February 19 VicPD joined the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee’s Dance Party at Saanich Commonwealth Pool.  

On February 25,  VicPD members attended the Coldest Night of the Year Walk to help raise awareness and funds for people experiencing homelessness.  

At the end of February, a class of 19 grade two students got a glimpse into the exciting world of policing as part of their career unit. They asked great questions and left with big smiles (and stickers!).

Pink Shirt Day on February 28 was a colourful occasion with many staff participating in this important anti-bullying initiative.  

VicPD spokesperson Cst. Terri Healy also judged the Spread The Love Youth Film Festival at école Victor Brodeur on that day.  

March 16-23, we supported the Greater Victoria Police Foundation’s Police Camp, where 60 youth learned the basics of policing from volunteer active and retired police officers. 

 

And on March 17, we welcomed 14 new volunteers. With a total of 85 VicPD Volunteers, this is the largest cadre of volunteers we’ve had in a long time.  

At the end of the first quarter, the net financial position is approximately 25.8 % of the total budget, which is slightly over budget but reasonable, taking into consideration that benefit expenditures are higher for the first two quarters of the year due to CPP and EI Employer Deductions. Also, we have incurred about $600,000 in retirement expenditures due to many retirements occurring early in the year. These expenditures have no operating budget, and if there is insufficient surplus to cover these expenditures at year-end, they will be charged against the employee benefit liability.