The 2021 Crime Statistics and the Crime Severity Index (CSI) values for Canada were released yesterday. These values reflect roughly 325 police services with a core population of over 10,000 for 2021.
The Crime Severity Index is a measure of police-reported crime that reflects the relative seriousness of individual offenses and tracks changes in crime severity. In fact, three Crime Severity Indexes exist. One is for overall crime, one for violent crime, and one for non-violent crime. The higher the CSI number the more crime prevalent, the ranking indicates the police service's position out of 325 police services for crime. The higher the ranking the more serious the crime. Ranking is from 1 which represents higher crime severity to 325 which represents the lowest crime severity.
The numbers compare 2021 to 2020.
Weyburn's CSI has shown a positive movement in its ranking for the Overall Crime Severity Index. In 2020 Weyburn had an overall CSI of 109.9 and a rank of 53rd out of 325 police services across Canada. In 2021 Weyburn’s overall CSI was 77.3 with a ranking of 110th for overall CSI.
"We've increased our ranking by about 57 cities, so you know, really good in our minds that we've jumped out much," commented Police Chief Jamie Blunden with the Weyburn Police Service.
"Don't forget, in 2019 they had a homicide here, and in 2020 we had a lot of property issues that were happening, so we've come up with a strategy with respect to our high visibility strategy and being on the road and sort of waving the flag a bit more. And I think we've dropped our property crimes down quite a bit, and that's one of the results of our increased ranking in regards to cities."
The Violent Crime Severity Index for 2021 was 83.9 versus 77 in 2020. The ranking dropped from the 123rd position to the 122nd position. The non-violent Crime Severity Index for 2021 was 74.8 versus 121.5 in 2020, with a ranking of 105th in 2021 versus 39th in 2020. This represents a positive increase in ranking by 66 positions.
"It was only one ranking, so we went from I think, 123rd ranking in 2020 to 122," Blunden shared. "So we only dropped one ranking there, which isn't so bad and I look at that and I go, 'why do we have an increase in our CSI for the violent crimes?' and when I look at it, we had a couple of incidents last year that was one incident with one accused and we had probably about 25 victims. So those all together add to the numbers that we have. So you have got to be careful with stats. You have to be able to interpret them the right way and there are reasons for certain things."
Stats Canada has ranked Saskatchewan Police Services for Overall Crime Severity in the following order:
1. North Battleford (CSI of 480.7 and overall rank of #1 in Canada)
2. Prince Albert (CSI of 263.4 and overall rank of #4 in Canada)
3. Yorkton (CSI of 147.6 and overall rank of #28 in Canada)
4. Moose Jaw (CSI of 127.2 and overall rank of #37 in Canada)
5. Saskatoon (CSI of 119.1 and overall rank of #42 in Canada)
6. Regina (CSI of 116.8 and overall rank of #44 in Canada)
7. Swift Current (CSI of 94.5 and overall rank of #64 in Canada)
8. Estevan (CSI of 91.1 and overall rank of #68 in Canada)
9. Weyburn (CSI of 77.3 and overall rank of #110 in Canada)
10. Martensville (CSI of 32.9 and overall rank of #283 in Canada)
11. Warman (CSI of 28.6 and overall rank of #302 in Canada)
Blunden explained the timing for the stats being released is due to fact-checking, with Statistics Canada getting all the details of each case.
"So when you look at the non-violent crime severity Index, which is petty crimes and stuff without violence, we dropped, I believe about 46.7 numbers on our CSI, which is about 66 ranks, so 66 ranks compared to the other cities, really, a feather in the cap."
Blunden concluded the CSI, "sort of gives a perspective where we should be in terms of what's relation to the other agencies within Saskatchewan, so when you look at it and you look at the CSI rankings, I mean you know we're sitting in position 9, and there are only two other ones that are sort of have better rankings than us, so we're pretty happy with that."