Today, Tuesday July 20th, marks the release of the annual Crime Statistics Report from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) and Regina’s story is a familiar one. When comparing Regina in 2009 to Regina in 2008, there is an impressive decrease in the overall crime rate. However, as in previous years, Regina still shows the highest overall crime rate when compared to the country’s other 32 Census Metropolitan Areas, or CMA’s. Also, in spite of an even more impressive decrease on the Crime Severity Index, introduced by Statistics Canada in April of 2009, Regina is still ranked highest among the 33 Canadian CMA’s.
The statistics released today show the crime rate in Regina (total Criminal Code Offences excluding traffic) dropped 5% from 2008 to 2009, bringing Regina’s crime rate to the lowest is has been since 1991, when Statistics Canada began its current method of collection and comparison of crime data. Since 1991, the crime rate in Regina has decreased thirty-percent. Regina’s 5% decrease in overall reported crime from 2008 to 2009 compares favorably to the Canadian average rate of decline which is three-percent.
Today’s report, “Police Reported Crime Statistics in Canada, 2009” incorporates the Crime Severity Index, which was introduced by Statistics Canada in April of 2009 as a means of tracking changes in the severity (as opposed to volume) of police-reported crime. Under the Crime Severity Index, each offence is assigned a “weight” with more serious offences receiving a higher numerical value, or “weight”, than less serious offences. For example, a homicide has a much higher numerical value than a common assault. The newest Crime Severity Index shows that from 2008 to 2009, Regina’s rate decreased 12-percent, three times the decrease reflected in the Canadian average. The Crime Severity Index can further separate property crime from violent offences and, for the first time since this measure was introduced, Regina does not top the Violent Crime Severity Index, showing an 8.4-percent decrease from the year before.
The attached background document highlights the decreases in crime in Regina, expressed as overall crime rate and Crime Severity index. It also draws comparisons to Western Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas, the cities to which Regina is most often compared. And there are graphs illustrating the ten-year statistics picture in Regina, showing Regina-to-Regina comparisons in overall crime rate and selected crime categories.
Chief Troy Hagen and His Worship, Mayor Pat Fiacco, will be available to comment on the 2009 CCJS report at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at Regina Police Service Headquarters, 1717 Osler Street.