When Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter gave his semi-annual crime stat update to Parksville council last week, he pointed out that the latest Crime Severity Index (CSI) was out and the city is doing very well.
The relatively new measure is weighted to improve crime rate comparisons, weighing crimes like murder and physical assault higher than things like theft from vehicles, Hunter explained.
While the city has been doing well in terms of regular crime rates and crime numbers in general, it has made impressive gains in terms of the severity of the crime.
For the 2011 ranking, using 2010 numbers, Statistics Canada ranked Parksville 144 out of 238 Canadian cities with a population over 10,000. Ranking the worst cities highest, Parksville dropped an impressive 93 spots from number 51 last year.
Looking at violent crime only, Parksville looks even better at 214th, dropping from 79th last year, meaning there are 213 cities in the country with a higher violent crime rating and just 24 better.
“Parksville is virtually one of the safest communities in Canada to live in,” Hunter told council, pointing out that people are starting to look at the index when thinking about where to move or vacation.
The further you break the numbers down the better Parksville looks, ranking eighth best in the country in terms of violent crime among 53 similar sized cities between 10,000 and 15,000 for example.
Comparing similar size cities within the province, Parksville is near the middle of the pack but the range is dramatic from Williams Lake and Prince Rupert, which are both in the national top ten worst violent crime to Comox and Summerland which are in the bottom ten with the lowest violent crime rating.