Campbell River has seen an increase in both non-violent and violent crime since 2018, according to this year’s Crime Severity Index published by Stats Canada.
The city ranked at number 38 overall, with a crime severity index of 148.19, which is higher than the national average of 79.45. The city is also higher than the national average for violent crime, at 127,95 compared to 89.67, and non-violent crime at 155.12 compared to the national average of 75.59. Both of these are increases since 2018, by 67 per cent and 77 per cent respectively.
However, the Campbell River RCMP said that “recent changes to how crime is ‘scored’… have had a significant effect on increases in the community.”
Examples are a change in classification of cases, which inflates the number of cases in the city. However that doesn’t account for all of the changes in the city’s score. Other factors in the increase are changes to the bail system, which now allows more people to be released until their trials.
Campbell River is a relatively small community when compared to places like Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, and that can affect how crimes are scored. This is true for both violent and non-violent crimes.
“For instance if a community of 20,000 people never had any homicides, and then had one homicide, it would create a monstrous increase in the Crime Severity,” the RCMP report reads.
Campbell River did have one homicide in 2019 and a number of other violent crimes that impacted the CSI score. The local detachment also had an increase in calls for service, roughly 1,500 more in 2019 than in 2018. Most of these calls were for things like missing persons and wellness checks, which means that “officers have significantly less patrol time and less opportunities to do proactive investigations that can reduce certain kinds of crimes.”