Oak Bay residents can take a deep breath – the area is still considered one of the safest communities in Canada.
Statistics Canada released the results of its 2012 crime severity statistics study, and Oak Bay’s total crime severity index rated 264 out of 297 communities in Canada.
The study, which looked at communities in Canada with populations of 10,000 or more residents, also pinned Oak Bay with a violent crime severity index ranking of 279 out of 297. Meanwhile, the non-violent crime severity ranking saw Oak Bay take 248 out of 297.
“The results for 2012 are consistent with where Oak Bay has placed in past years, and we are confident that we provide the best service we can with the resources we have,” said Oak Bay Police Deputy Chief Const. Kent Thom. “That said, we’re always out to improve and it’s a real credit to the community because we get tremendous help from the community here … What other communities might consider to be inconsequential and insignificant issues often give us positive results in solving investigations and crime.”
The departments’ clearance rate, which is a measure of how many criminal code investigations were solved in the previous year, increased by 5.8 per cent over the previous year’s results.
Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen is pleased with the results.
“The fact that Oak Bay continues to be one of the safest communities in Canada is a credit to the residents and to the community policing model that guides the operations of the Oak Bay Police Department,” said Jensen, chair of the Oak Bay Police Board.
For violent crimes, Northumberland (Hamilton), Ont. scored the safest at 297, while Thompson, Man. won the top spot for most dangerous. For overall crime severity, North Battleford, Sask. came in first riskiest place, while Amherstburg, Ont. was marked the overall safest place to be, at 297.
Oak Bay beat out Saanich, which ranked 241 overall and 246 for violent crimes. However, Central Saanich had the jump with 280 on the overall scale and 291 out of 297 for violent crimes. Not to be outdone, safe North Saanich ranked 281 overall and 295 for violent crimes – all a far cry from neighbouring Victoria, which scored the 32nd spot on the overall crime scale and 26th spot for most violent crimes in 2012.