NEWS: Nunavut August 07, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Nunavut still a leader in crime: StatCan

Territory's Crime Severity Index is the second-highest after the N.W.T.


Nunavut continues to lag behind the rest of Canada in curbing violent crime.

This is the unsettling portrait that emerges from a recently released and detailed look by Statistics Canada into the Crime Severity Index, or CSI, of provinces and territories.

The CSI not only takes into account the volume of crime, but also the relative severity of crime.

For 2017, six provinces and all the territories reported increases in CSI, StatCan said.

Nunavut’s CSI of 297.6 is second only to that of the Northwest Territories at 303.8, and more than four times Canada’s rate of 72.9.

In 2017, Nunavut’s CSI rose due to several homicides, although the index offset this increase by declines in break-and-enters.

For many crimes, Nunavut showed rates several times higher in 2017 than for Canada, such as for homicide, which was nearly nine times higher in Nunavut due to the territory’s six homicides in 2017.

In 2017 in Nunavut, firearms offences were also up by 29 per cent while impaired driving charges were up by 53 per cent, Statcan said.

Rates of police-reported cannabis offences varied considerably among the provinces and territories, StatCan noted, with the highest rates reported in the N.W.T. and Nunavut.

On the positive, StatCan said there were large declines in the rates of fraud in Nunavut, which was down by 34 per cent. Police-reported sexual assaults were down by six per cent and break-and-enters were down by four per cent.

The Nunavut youth CSI was down by nine per cent—and by 33 per cent since 2007—but it still remains four times higher than overall in Canada.

StatCan also compared the numbers of police-reported crimes with the size of the population—and here Nunavut also surpassed the Canadian average, with seven times more crimes, or 13,279 incidents, in its much smaller population. As well, Nunavut saw eight times the average number of violent crimes, with 3,127 incidents, five times as many property crimes, with 5,799 incidents, and 4,353 other crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada. Since 2007, crime has risen in Nunavut by 16 per cent, StatCan said.

That’s the largest increase of any province or territory in Canada. Quebec, for example, has cut its crime by 34 per cent since 2007.