Crime in the Comox Valley is on the rise, according to new data just released by Statistics Canada.
According to the Canadian Community Crime Tracker, the total crime rate in the area grew to 3,814.19 per 100,000 people in 2017, up from 3,464.57 in 2016.
In comparison, the crime rate in B.C. was 7,416.63 in the same year, and the overall crime rate in Canada was 5,334.04.
Looking at the numbers, the total violent crime rate did increase over the previous year – from 633.67 to 760.61 per 100,000 people.
The numbers both for the province and the country are higher: in Canada, the number is 1,098.4, and in B.C. it is 1,104.36 per 100,00.
The rate of sexual assaults has nearly doubled since 2016 – up to 33.39, from 18.75 per 100,000 people.
Keeping with other communities across the country, the one statistic that did fall from the previous year was the total number of cannabis violations.
In 2016 in the Valley, the number was 236.22 per 100,000 people; in 2017 that number fell to 168.96.
By comparison, in B.C., the number was 209.96, and across Canada, the number was 130.74.
Comox Valley RCMP media relations Const. Monika Terragni said many factors contribute to the rise and decline of the total crime rate.
“The Comox Valley is still a relatively small community so when a prolific offender goes on a crime spree, we have a homicide or serious assault, and even when we conduct targeted practice enforcement, we will see the direct effects on the total crime rate.”
Terragni added a slight rise in a community ranking on the Crime Severity Index/total crime rate is not necessarily a cause for concern for citizens.
“However, it is certainly one of those factors that is considered when we develop our policing strategies for the Comox Valley – this includes our resource levels and how we allocate those resources.”
Stony Rapids, Sask. saw the highest crime rate in 2017 followed by Wollaston Lake, Sask. and Behchoko, N.W.T. In British Columbia, Terrace topped the chart followed by Williams Lake and Quesnel.