RCMP vehicles.

New data shows crime rate up around Hope, but severity down

Data gleaned from new Statistics Canada data shows a mixed picture of crime in Hope and Yale.

New Statistics Canada data showed that the number of crimes committed within the Hope RCMP’s detachment boundaries, which includes Yale, has increased but the severity of crimes has decreased.

Released last Wednesday, the data showed that area’s crime rate has gone up by 23 per cent in 2015, compared to 2014.

In 2014, there were 187 incidents, whereas in 2015, there were 234 incidents.

“Incidents” refer to crimes and offences that can be charged under a federal statute such as the Criminal Code, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Certain notable spikes in 2015 are in assaults, which jumped from 4 incidents in 2014 to 19 in 2015. Assaults that caused bodily harm or done with a weapon went up from 4 to 6.

Property crime also increased from 91 incidents to 116. While break and enters fell from 17 to 12 incidents, carjacking went from 10 to 15 cases and theft under $5,000 went from 34 cases to 55.

Most notably, theft from a vehicle almost doubled with 31 cases as compared to 17 in 2014. Disturbing the peace also increased from 17 to 27 incidents.

Mischief, which encompasses vandalism, and drug possession crimes stayed mostly stable.

However, Statistics Canada’s data is not all doom and gloom, as crime severity in Hope has gone down.

From 2014 to 2015, the crime severity index has gone down from 259 to 164 points, with a major drop in violent crime severity from 465 to 95 points.

To create the index, Statistics Canada assigns each violation a weight, based on the violation’s incarceration rate and the average length of imprisonment. Therefore, murders will shift the index more so than cannabis possession. The weighted offences are summed and then divided by the population.

The major drop in violent crime severity is likely attributable to there being no homicides or murders in 2015, whereas there was one homicide and first-degree murder in 2014.

The Hope Standard is currently reaching out to leaders and the RCMP to make sense of this data. Read the full report in the July 28 edition.