Crime Stats: The Big Picture
Chart shows Prince George’s rankings over the past 6 years- chart 250News
Prince George, B.C.- Moving up in the ranks is not good news when it’s the crime severity index or ranking for violent crime, and Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown has been crunching the numbers.
The annual rankings by Statistics Canada, examined more than 300 communities with populations over 10 thousand.
Over the past 6 years, Prince George has been as high as number 7 in the nation in the rankings for violent crime, a year that also pegged the City as number 11 when it comes to overall Crime Severity rankings.
The lowest rankings Prince George has seen in the past 6 years came in 2014, when it was ranked number 23 for violent crime, and number 22 in overall crime severity.
Although the most recent numbers show a slight step up in the rankings for Prince George ( #20 for violent crime and Crime severity) Superintendent Brown says the CSI may not accurately reflect what has been happening in any specific year “The CSI is a complicated formula. Depending upon the frequency of the event, the severity of the event it’s given different scores and then they take into account as part of the formula, the sentencing. Because of that, it may not accurately reflect what happens in that specific year. The sentencing aspect of it could be influenced by what happened in a previous year.”
Supt. Brown says he doesn’t want to dismiss the rankings as being trivial, “Crime is a concern to me in this community, but when I look at the CSI compared to other years, really it is down significantly from when we saw crime in a spike here from 2008 to 2012. Albeit, it is up slightly from last year, it still puts us on the same score nationally, usually we are around 20th.”
“When I look at crime stats specifically, for instance break and enters, in 2014 we were at 206, last year, we were at 195 break ins for the entire year” so while there has been a drop, Supt Brown says it is a category that impacts the overall CSI. “It concerns me, in looking at specific property related crimes that we had last year, it’s down from the previous years.”
As for violent crime, which includes robbery, homicides and serious assaults, Superintendent Brown says the numbers are concerning,” That affects a small number in the community. Unfortunately a lot of people involved in violent crime are involved because of chosen life styles. We’ve had a number of shootings this year, targeted shootings we believe are related to criminal organizations and drugs. That negatively affects our community but the majority of people in the community feel quite safe.” There were four homicides last year compared to just a couple in 2014.
He points out that the CSI nationally increased for 2015, the first time in a dozen years that the national ranking increased and the provincial rate increased as well. While stressing he is not tolerant of any crime whatsoever, he adds, “our trend isn’t much different than what we’ve seen nationally or provincially.”
Supt. Brown says he believes the local detachment has a good grasp on what ails the community. ” The City has been very supportive giving us a few extra members this year, we’re working diligently on programs for social chronic offenders and those with mental health conditions and we have good community engagement. We are not blind to what’s happening, but there’s some capacity issues and there are some crimes that go beyond our control.” He says a very active car thief (91 such thefts in 2015) could be responsible for making those numbers climb “One person out of jail, or just having someone from a different community relocate, that can really offset the balance. Again, it’s targeting the right offenders, it’s programs around crime reduction, so we’re going to continue to focus our efforts towards forwarding that and identifying those people who need more attention.”
Bottom line for Supt, Brown “I’m not overly concerned the sky is falling here, but we will continue to engage and look at innovations towards the best crime reduction policies that suit the needs of our city.”