Terrace has jumped from being the 79th most dangerous city in Canada in 2018 to the eighth most dangerous this year.
Close on its heels is Prince Rupert, which jumped from 223 last year, to the 11th spot this year.
According to Maclean’s Magazine annual Crime Severity Index (CSI) report, released this week, Terrace’s CSI spiralled to 221 in 2019 from 144 in 2018 – this is despite a decrease in the number of reported assaults from 221 in 2018 to 187 this year.
These are some of the factors that drove Terrace’s CSI to its new heights:
* Homicide – no homicides in 2018, one in 2019
* Sexual assaults – up from 13 in 2018, to 22 in 2019
* Breaking and entering – up from 49 in 2018, to 55 in 2019
* Fraud – up from 53 in 2018, to 76 in 2019.
Despite fears that the legalization of cannabis in 2018 would drive up the rate of impaired drivers caught behind the wheel, Terrace only registered an increase of three incidents, from 45 in 2018 to 48 this year. Youth crime is down, from four incidents last year to two this year.
Prince Rupert, which recorded a drop in its CSI for the 2017/2018, rocketed up to a CSI of 191 despite a drop in homicides from two in 2018 to none this year. The main contributor to the sharp rise in the city’s CSI was an increase in assaults from 243 in 2018, to 319 this year.
These are some of the other factors that drove up Prince Rupert’s CSI:
* Sexual assault – up from 19 in 2018, to 22 in 2019
* Breaking and entering – up from 36 in 2018, to 56 in 2019
* Fraud – up from 37 in 2018, to 60 in 2019
* Cocaine trafficking or production – up from 1 in 2018, to 12 in 2019.
No crimes involving youth were reported this year, making it two years in a row. Impaired driving dropped from 47 last year to 46 this year and there were no firearms’ offences reported this year.
Top spot in the Canada-wide 2019 CSI rankings went to Thompson, Manitoba, with a CSI of 570. Last year the top ranking city was Wetaskiwin in Alberta.
What IS the CSI?
According to Statistics Canada (StatsCan), the Crime Severity Index tracks changes in the severity of police-reported crime.
StatsCan takes into consideration the number of crimes as well as the seriousness of those crimes to generate the CSI.
To do this, crimes are weighted according to their severity – more serious crimes are assigned higher weights, less serious offences lower weights. For example, a murder would receive a weight 1,000 times higher than a case of shoplifting.
The weight consists of two parts – the number of people convicted and sentenced to time in prison, multiplied by the average time they spend in prison.
Each crime receives the same weight regardless of the specific outcome of any individual case – for example, all robberies reported by police carry the same weight in the CSI. The weights are calculated using the five most recent years of available sentencing data.
To finally calculate the CSI, the number of crimes is multiplied by the weight for that crime, the final figure divided by the corresponding population total. To make the CSI easier to interpret, it is standardized to 100 for Canada.