Today, Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, or CCJS, released its annual report showing 2013 crime statistics in 33 Census Metropolitan Areas, or CMAs, across Canada. The report, entitled, “Police Reported Crime Statistics in Canada, 2013” shows that while crime rates are decreasing across Canada, Regina’s decrease is just ahead of the national average decrease, with an 8.0% reduction in total Crime Rate and a reduction of 7.0% in the Crime Severity Index. This brings Regina’s crime rate to the lowest it’s been since 1991, when Statistics Canada began its current method of collection and comparison of crime data. However, in spite of decreases that outpace the national average, Regina still occupies the position of having the highest total Crime Rate and highest Crime Severity Index (CSI) when compared to other CMAs.
A CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) refers to an urban core and its surrounding area with:
o a total population of 100,000 or more,
o and at least 50,000 people residing within the urban core itself.
The Regina CMA includes the City of Regina as well as the communities of Lumsden, Regina Beach, Belle Plaine, Pense, Rowatt, Richardson, White City, Pilot Butte, Balgonie and Edenwold.
The CCJS report presents statistics showing Crime Rate, which is a measure of the number of crimes per 100,000 population within a given period of time. Total Crime Rate is further divided to indicate Violent Crime Rate and Property Crime Rate. Since 2009, Statistics Canada has also adopted the Crime Severity Index which compares both volume and seriousness of offences between regions. Unlike the Crime Rate, the Crime Severity Index accounts for the seriousness of crime by assigning crime types “weights” based on conviction rates and lengths of sentences – a Homicide would therefore have a much greater effect on the Crime Severity Index than a single Theft. The Crime Severity Index is comprised of two categories: the Violent Crime Severity Index and the Non-violent Crime Severity Index.
The accompanying document summarizes the changes in Crime Rate and Crime Severity (and the Violent and Non-Violent categories of each) for the Regina CMA from 2012 to 2013, as well as the change over ten years.
Of particular note:
• Although the Regina CMA has been reported as the having the highest Total Crime Severity and Crime Rate the progress in total reductions has been substantial and has greatly exceeded the Canadian experience.
• The reduction in the crime rate in the Regina CMA have been one and a half times greater than the reduction for Canada.
• The reduction in Total Crime Severity in the Regina CMA has also exceeded the trend in Canada this past decade by almost one and a half times.
• This report confirms our pressure points we identified in our police service this past year which are robbery and break and enter offences.
• The Regina Police Service continues to actively engage in reduction strategies for these offences.
In a news scrum today, Police Chief Troy Hagen said, “The continued reduction in crime rate year-over-year is encouraging. It’s nothing short of impressive over a ten-year period, but we know we have to continue to be effective and efficient. We will continue to work with our partners and our community to put public safety first.”
“Regardless of Regina’s ranking, the numbers show that we continue to move in the right direction,” insisted Regina Mayor and Board of Police Commissioners Chair Michael Fougere. “Our community partnerships are working. While we all have more work to do, I don’t think there’s any question that this is a safe city.”
The attached background document highlights the decreases in crime in Regina, expressed as overall Total 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. There are also graphs illustrating the ten-year statistical picture in Regina, showing Regina-to-Regina comparisons in overall crime rate and selected crime categories.
The background document (link above) highlights the decreases in crime in Regina, expressed as overall Total 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. There are also graphs illustrating the ten-year statistical picture in Regina, showing Regina-to-Regina comparisons in overall crime rate and selected crime categories.