While crime within the Town of Comox rose marginally in 2018 over the previous year, the number of actual incidents have been on the decline since its peak in 2015, according to crime figures released by Statistics Canada.
In data released Monday, the agency found 537 total violations within the town in 2018, compared to 534 in 2017. In 2015, that number was 600.
In 2018, there were 59 adults charged, and five youth charged with crimes.
The number of sexual assaults (level 1) jumped to seven in 2018, as compared to one in 2017. Level 1 sexual assaults involve minor physical injuries or no injuries to the victim.
Province-wide, there were 3,122 level 1 incidents, up 14.5 per cent from 2017.
In general, rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row, “corresponding in timing to the growing public discussion of issues around sexual violence,” including the #MeToo movement, Statistics Canada noted.
Total property crime violations increased slightly from the previous year – 333 in 2018 compared to 330 in 2017. The numbers have increased in the past two years from the low of 230 incidents in 2016.
Theft under $5,000 was the highest it’s been in the municipality since 2014 – 62 recorded incidents.
The Crime Severity Index for the town was 39.05 – the highest since 2014.
CSI measures changes in the level of severity of crime in Canada from year to year. According to the agency, all crimes are assigned a weight based on their seriousness.
In 2017, the CSI for the Town of Comox sat at 34.53.
The violent crime severity index was the highest its ever been since 2014, coming in at 30.99.
This index includes all incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey violent violations, some of which were not previously included in the aggregate violent crime category, including uttering threats, criminal harassment and forcible confinement.
The Record has reached out to Mayor Russ Arnott for comment.
– With files from Katya Slepian