Terrace back in crime top ten

Council hears the latest rankings in Statscan's Crime Severity Index

Terrace is back in a Canadian top ten list that nobody except possibly a criminal could be proud of: the Crime Severity Index.

RCMP Chief Inspector Dana Hart presented the news of this year’s ranking to city council at the regular meeting last night, saying he believed a murder that happened last year was largely responsible for the rise.

The number 10 overall crime severity ranking this year equals that of 2011, and is a fall from grace from 2012’s 19th overall ranking.

The index ranks cities with populations over 10,000 and looks at a range of 304 police services, assigning a value according to the severity of the type of crime.

Terrace was 8th in Canada for violent crime in 2013 and 258th for non-violent crime.

Out of B.C. cities, three were ranked higher than Terrace with Langley 8th overall, Quesnel 6th, and Williams Lake 4rth.

Released each year by Statistics Canada, Hart said the Crime Severity Index allots a disproportionate weight to a murder, which can skew the overall numbers for smaller cities like Terrace.

Terrace’s single murder last year was weighted 7,554.94 points, 7 per cent of its total. The 10 robberies amounted to 523 points, or 4.9 per cent.

The 99 break and enters last year were weighted as 20 per cent of the index, or 21,450 points.

Hart pointed out that the crime rate in Terrace has been falling at the same time as the severity index has been rising.

He also showed first and second quarter crime statistics for Terrace.

Property offences such as break and enters were down so far compared to last year, from 588 to 546 incidents.

However persons offences have risen from 338 incidences in 2013 to 385 during the same period this year.

Councillor James Cordeiro pointed out that one murder has already happened in Terrace this year, meaning that next summer one might expect Terrace to be ranked high once again for crime severity.