(Black Press Media file photo)

Three West Shore communities see crime severity index increase

Traffic incidents top reason for calls for service for West Shore RCMP

Figures released by Statistics Canada show that the Crime Severity Index has gone up in three West Shore communities, with View Royal’s having increased the most.

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada and has a base index value of 100.

Nation-wide, the CSI went up to 75 which is its fourth consecutive increase. Colwood, Langford and View Royal all have a reported CSI that is less than the national average, but the numbers have still gone up compared to previous years.

In Colwood, the CSI was 36.9, up about 12 per cent from the previous year. In 2016 and 2017, the CSI had gone down in Colwood.

Langford saw an increase of about 7 per cent to a CSI of 50.5 in 2018. It is about the same as the CSI in 2016 but lower than the years 2014 and 2015.

READ ALSO: Saanich’s crime-severity-index up 16 per cent but still below regional, provincial and national average

View Royal saw the largest increase of 40 per cent with a CSI of 57.4 in 2018. In previous years, the CSI had either gone down, or had only increased by about 1 per cent.

Const. Nancy Saggar of the West Shore RCMP noted that the CSI takes into account many different factors, one of which is the convictions and length of sentence of a convicted individual.

“Often trials and sentencing takes place years after the crime,” Saggar said.

While she said the West Shore RCMP detachment does not calculate what crimes are being factored into the number – it is done at the provincial or federal level – she said a factor to keep in mind is that the index is based off a population of 100,000.

“Small changes in crime rates can reflect statistically large in a community the size of View Royal,” Saggar said.

The West Shore RCMP 2018 year-end report shows that the number of calls for service was up in every municipality the detachment covers except for View Royal and the Malahat. In general, the detachment’s calls for service increased by 6 per cent compared to the year 2017.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria sees crime severity index rise

The top five calls reasons for calls for service in order were traffic incidents; assisting police, fire and ambulance, property related offences, theft and alarms. Traffic incidents include, but aren’t limited to driving complaints, insurance violations, seat belts, speeding, erratic or dangerous driving and road rage reports.

Crimes against persons, offences against property and other criminal code violations (like weapons possession, counterfeit currency and breach of probation) were up while Controlled Drugs and Substances act violations were down.

There were two motor vehicle collisions that resulted in death, 200 that resulted in injury and 834 that did not result in injury.

The number one crime against persons was assault and the number one offence against property was vehicle theft.

For the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year, the West Shore RCMP has identified five key priorities to address. They are organized crime (specifically drug trafficking), traffic safety, police/community relations, enhancing relationships with Indigenous communities and property crimes (specifically thefts).

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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