Increase of Crime Severity index for City of Weyburn

The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) recently released their report on “Police Reported Crime Statistics in Canada, 2016. This report presents findings from the 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and examines trends in the volume and severity of police reported crime at National, Provincial and Municipal levels.

After a number of years of reductions, The Crime Severity index for the City of Weyburn saw increases in both violent and non-violent categories, resulting in overall increases in the local Crime Severity Index.

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The Crime Severity Index for Weyburn realized an overall increase of 19.8 per cent, a measure of 74.2 in 2016 compared to a measure of 61.9 in 2015. Violent crime had an increase of 18.8 per cent, while non-violent crime had an increase of 20.0 per cent.

“Basically the change in serious incidents came from three primary incidents that had occurred in 2016,” said Inspector Rod Stafford, from the Weyburn Police Services. “Our serious assaults were up 40 per cent, weapon charges were up 50 per cent, and break and enters were up 50 per cent. Those all grow the Crime Severity Index numbers.”

“We had seen more serious assaults reported in 2016, where a person was injured. This does speak to how people are treating others when they get into a disagreement,” said Inspector Stafford. “These were not a public safety issue, since the majority of cases were domestic or another social situation.”

“We also had a couple of drug searches, which resulted in a significant number of weapon charges being laid, which pushed that number up. We also had a number of break and enters reported in 2016.” He noted that there was one particular group responsible for the break and enters, who have been caught and charges have been laid.

Crime Severity is but one measure used to track changes in police reported crime.

Crime severity is calculated using sentencing data from the courts and each offence is ‘weighted’ according to the severity of the sentences handed down by Judges. The weighted offences are then multiplied by the number of incidents and then divided by the population. The Crime Severity Index uses the base year of 2006 as a standardized ‘100’ nationally to facilitate comparisons.

As a comparison the Crime Severity average for Canada is 71.0 per cent and for Saskatchewan is 148.84.