Crime Severity Index Increases for 4th Year

Crime Scene
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Thunder Bay Second in Canadian Cities with the Most Reported Violent Crime

THUNDER BAY – Police-reported crime in Canada, as measured by the Crime Severity Index (CSI), increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2018. The CSI increased 2% from 73.6 in 2017 to 75.0 in 2018, but the index was 17% lower in 2018 than a decade earlier in 2008. The CSI measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada, and it has a base index value of 100 for 2006.

However, the news was not great for the City of Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay was recorded as having the second-highest Crime Severity Index in Canada (159.7). Winnipeg led Canadian cities with a ranking of (161.4) in the category.

Violent Crime

Winnipeg Police released their annual crime report today. Total crime spiked by 33 percent last year in Winnipeg over the five-year average. For Winnipeg, violent crime also increased by 18 percent last year.

Methamphetamine Crime Up

Overall, there were 13,603 methamphetamine-related offences, marking a rate increase of 13% nationally (Table 4). This also continues a trend of increases in methamphetamine offences dating back to 2008.

Possession of methamphetamine had the second-highest incident rate (28 incidents per 100,000 population) among all drugs, after possession of cannabis. While the rate of methamphetamine possession rose 10% in 2018, the rate of trafficking, production, and importation or exportation jumped 23%. Note methamphetamine-related offences accounted for 16% of all police-reported drug-related crime.

A number of police services have indicated that crystal meth is a growing issue in their communities and has contributed to increases in all types of crime, including property and violent crimes.

Among the provinces, 9 reported increases in the rate of methamphetamine-related offences. The largest increases were reported in Prince Edward Island (+107%), Nova Scotia (+77%) and New Brunswick (+75%) (Table 4). Among CMAs, there were 961 more methamphetamine-related offences in 2018 than in 2017. The CMAs driving this increase were Lethbridge (+91% rate per 100,000 population), Hamilton (+52%), Montréal (+49%) and Calgary (+48%).

Murder Capital Title Stays with Thunder Bay

The unwanted title of “Murder Capital” stayed with Thunder Bay with 6.84 murders per 100,000 population. This is just shy of double the rate of second place holder Brampton Ontario. Brantford had five murders in 2018, giving them a 3.36 rate per 100,000 population.

The Crime Severity Index measures the overall volume and severity of violent crime in an urban centre. The Canadian average is a Crime Severity Index of 82.4 among census metropolitan areas.