Revelstoke’s crime rate was down in 2013, with more than 100 fewer incidents reported compared to the previous year.
“Our numbers are slightly down,” said Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky of the Revelstoke RCMP. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that crime has changed, it’s a matter of what is the trend of that year.”
There were 770 violations reported in Revelstoke in 2013, down from 889 in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. 551 of those were criminal code violations. The crime rate per 100,000 people was 10,877 in 2013 compared to 12,364 in 2012 — a 12 per cent decrease.
The Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures both volume and severity of crime (a murder is weighted higher than an assault, which is weighted higher than petty theft), declined to 72.12 in 2013 from 96.32 in 2012 — a 25 per cent decrease.
The violent crime severity index was 45.34 and the non-violent crime severity index was 81.71. This means that crimes were generally minor in nature.
“We have been very proactive in the community working on drug files, working on seizures on the highway and working in the community,” said Grabinsky. “We find that often drugs are related to assaults and victimization of a person, so by addressing those things we minimize other serious files.”
The Times Review only looked at statistics are for the City of Revelstoke and not the rural area. We last looked at the crime rate here in 2011.
The nationwide crime rate was 5,191 per 100,000 people in 2013 and the CSI was 68.72. For violent crimes, the severity index was 73.7 and for non-violent crimes it was 66.76.
For British Columbia, the crime rate was 8,592.56 per 100,000 people — a decrease of 5.24 per cent compared to 2012. Provincially, the crime rate has been going down steadily since 2004.
The provincial CSI was 89.18 in 2013, while the violent crime CSI was 81.48 and non-violent crime CSI was 91.8.
This indicates that while Revelstoke has a higher crime rate than the provincial average, the crimes are generally less serious in nature.
Grabinsky attributed Revelstoke’s higher crime rate to the fact it’s a tourism destination.
“Revelstoke brings upon the community every year larger quantities of people than actually live here,” he said. “When people don’t have that dedication to a community, some things can happen. And sometimes the locals will report these incidents more frequently, having less patience for them.
“I don’t object to that. It’s your community, so report to the police what’s happening.”
Over the past 15 years, Revelstoke’s crime rate has fluctuated between a low of 9,015 per 100,000 people in 1999 to a high of 13,569 per 100,000 people in 2008.
The CSI rate was the lowest since 1998 — the earliest year for which statistics are available.
The statistics shed some light on how crime was dealt with in Revelstoke. According to Statistics Canada, 362 incidents were cleared — 127 with charges and 235 by other means. 112 adults and 15 youth were charged with crimes
“Overall, I don’t think anybody perceives that the crime in Revelstoke has changed,” said Grabinsky. “It is perceived to be a very safe community. It’s a very happy pro-community, community.”
What crimes were committed?
Property crime was the big one, with 268 instances recorded. Of those, 136 were thefts of under $5,000, 62 were incidents of mischief, 29 were thefts of a motor vehicle (down from 48 in 2012), 19 involved fraud and 11 were break-and-enters.
There was 167 drug violations recorded, 145 of which were for possession of marijuana and only two for trafficking in marijuana. Twelve people were charged with possession of cocaine, one for heroin, and five for other drugs.
Disturbing the peace was a common charge, with 90 instances recorded (down from 149 in 2012).
51 instances of minor assault were reported in 2013. There were seven incidents of assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm and 16 incidents of people uttering threats.
There were two sexual assaults and two sexual violations against children.
55 impaired driving charges were issued last year.