Sexual assault, homicide rose last year in Nunavut, StatCan says
Territory’s crime rate, crime severity index increased in 2018
Nunavut experienced increased rates of sexual assault, homicide and overall crime severity in 2018, the latest police-reported crime numbers from Statistics Canada reveal.
As in most years, Nunavut’s police-reported per capita sexual assault rate in 2018 exceeded that of all other territories and provinces, at 453 per 100,000, and rose by 13 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
Generally, Nunavut saw increases in mischief, homicide, attempted murder, administration of justice violations, forcible confinement or kidnapping, and aggravated sexual assault.
This was partially offset by a decrease in break-and-enter offences, StatCan reported.
The total raw number of sexual assaults reported to police in Nunavut in 2018 stood at 174. That number represents all three levels of sexual assault.
The Northwest Territories sexual assault rate was also high in 2018, at 368 per 100,000. But in the N.W.T., the sexual assault rate fell by 13 per cent from 2017.
Overall, Nunavut’s crime rate rose by eight per cent from 2017 to 2018, and in 2018 stood nine per cent higher than it did 10 years earlier in 2008.
Nunavut’s overall crime rate is still the second highest compared with all other territories and provinces, with the N.W.T. racking up the highest overall rate of crime.
And Nunavut’s police-reported crime rate, at 38,119 per 100,000, still stands much higher than Canada’s, which stood at 5,488 per 100,000.
And for all of Canada, the national crime rose slightly from 2017 to 2018, increasing by two per cent.
But Canada’s 2018 crime rate is still 17 per cent lower than in 2008, StatCan said.
With regard to another statistic, the crime severity index, Nunavut also posted a higher number in 2018.
Nunavut’s crime severity index rose by six per cent from 2017 to 2018, StatCan reported.
That’s still two per cent lower than 10 years earlier, in 2008.
But StatCan’s crime severity index revealed a disturbing increase in the severity of violent crime in Nunavut: a 16 per cent jump from 2017 to 2018.
As for non-violent crime, such as property offences, Nunavut’s crime severity index stayed about the same between 2017 and 2018.
(The crime severity index is a measurement, introduced in 2009, that follows changes in the relative seriousness of individual offences and measures changes in crime severity, StatCan says.)
One disturbing violent crime, homicide, also increased in 2018: police recorded eight homicides in Nunavut that year, compared with six in 2017.
In addition, StatCan said there were eight attempted murders in Nunavut in 2018.
That gave Nunavut a homicide rate in 2018 that’s 11 or 12 times higher than Canada’s.
But StatCan cautions that Nunavut’s small population will generate wildly fluctuating homicide numbers.