Canada’s crime rate is at its lowest in 40 years; while in Vancouver, police and the mayor say the city is safer now than it has ever been because of a crackdown on violent crime.
The latest statistics show that Vancouver has seen in the past years a significant decrease in violent crime. The 2012 Crime Severity Index report, released few days ago by Stats Canada, shows that Vancouver has seen a 6.9% decrease in violent crime, compared to a 3% decrease nationwide. VPD Sgt. Randy Fincham said: “We have made a concerted effort to reduce violent crime and property crime in Vancouver,” and while Vancouver leads the way in reducing violent crime, he added: “It would be difficult to say if our work is directly related to (crime in) other areas going up.”
Robertson said in a statement that efforts to make Vancouver one of the safest in the country are working. Thanks to the efforts of the police department and of the numerous private security companies in the area, the city is now as safe as never before.
“Chief Jim Chu and the Vancouver Police Department continue to achieve impressive progress toward the goal of becoming the safest major city in Canada,” said Robertson, who also serves as chair of the Vancouver Police Board. “These consistent reductions in violent crime in Vancouver are a great credit to the leadership of the VPD and the countless neighbourhood volunteers who work to make our communities even safer and more livable for everyone.”
For the sixth consecutive year, Vancouver’s violent crime rate has dropped. Since 2008, violent crime is down by 16.6% while property crime has dropped 20.9%.
After peaking in 1991, the police-reported crime rate has followed a downward trend nationally, and, in 2012, reached its lowest level since 1972. The decline in the crime rate in 2012 was driven by decreases in some of the most common offences, including mischief, break and enter, disturbing the peace, motor vehicle theft and possession of stolen property.
However, sexual offences against children, extortion, violent firearms offences and non-homicide offences causing death were among a handful of violent crimes that increased. The number of terrorism-related offences, identity-fraud incidents and arsons also rose last year.
The federal government passed a controversial omnibus crime bill early last year: it set a number of mandatory minimum penalties for drug trafficking and sex crimes against children, and got tough on pot producers, young offenders, Canadians imprisoned abroad seeking a transfer to a Canadian institution and ex-cons seeking a pardon.