Crime severity not accurate: Terrace RCMP

TERRACE RCMP are rebutting Terrace area crime-rate statistics released by Statistics Canada recently.

  • Wed Aug 8th, 2012 7:00am
  • News

TERRACE RCMP are rebutting Terrace area crime-rate statistics released by Statistics Canada recently.

The 2011 Crime Severity Index released by StatsCan recently ranked 239 cities with a population of more than 10,000, placing Terrace at 10th from the top of its list — up from its 29th place ranking two years ago.

Terrace RCMP Const. Angela Rabut, who does media relations, said the index takes court sentences into consideration and that could include Kitimat cases, which are often heard in provincial court here.

The court here also hears cases from the Nass Valley, Stewart and other northern areas.

The index also takes a look at the court sentences – if judges are more strict and give stiffer sentences, then that shows up as a higher crime severity index, said Rabut.

According to the local detachment records, there were 2,760 criminal offences here in 2010 compared to 2,907 criminal offences in 2011.

The increase is in persons offences, such as uttering threats and assaults (623 last year compared to 522 in 2010); in property crime, such as mischief and break-ins (885 last year compared to 825 in 2010); drug crimes (149 last year compared to 121 in 2010); and traffic crimes (177 last year compared to 170 in 2010), said Rabut.

“We do have a very active drug unit now. Probably the increase in the drug offences would just be our members [doing more enforcement,]” she said.

Crime may look like it’s on the increase but the public doesn’t have anything more to fear.

StatsCan defines the Crime Severity Index as measuring the seriousness of crime. “…each offence is assigned a weight, derived from sentences handed down by criminal courts. The more serious the average sentence, the higher the weight for that offence. As a result, more serious offences have a greater impact on the index.

“All offences, including traffic and drug offences, are included … the calculation involves summing the weighted offences and dividing by the population. [It] is then standardized to a base year (2006) or 100.”