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The city’s index was 10 per cent lower than in 2019. Stats Can says pandemic restrictions could explain a drop in crime rate nationwide.
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Saskatoon’s crime severity index for last year was the lowest its been since 2014.
The score of 105.7 was 10-per-cent lower than 2019, when the Bridge City had a CSI of 118.
Despite the drop, Saskatoon was well above the national CSI of 73.4 and had the fourth-highest index among Canada’s largest cities.
Saskatoon ranked behind only Lethbridge, Alta. (138.7), Winnipeg (116.3) and Kelowna, B.C. (111.9).
The CSI is an annual figure released by Statistics Canada that is calculated by taking into account the number of police-reported offences in a given year and their severity.
It includes both violent and non-violent crime.
Saskatoon’s 2020 violent CSI was 119.9 (down from 137 in 2019) while its non-violent CSI was 100.4 (down from 110.9 the year before).
Saskatoon’s overall crime rate (reported violations per 100,00 people) was 7,743.26 per 100,000 people in 2020, down from 8,690.28 in 2019.
According to the Saskatoon Police Service’s annual report on crime statistics, released earlier this year, the city recorded 12 homicides in 2020 compared to a record high of 16 in 2019. Last year saw a near doubling of arsons over 2019 and a significant increase in reports of criminal harassment (stalking).
Regina recorded the steepest year-over-year CSI decline among Canada’s 35 census metropolitan areas at 27 per cent. It had a CSI of 104.8, down from 131.5 in 2019.
Year-over-year CSI decreases were reported in 27 of the 35 CMAs.
Saskatchewan’s overall CSI indicator for 2020 was 141.1, a six-per-cent decrease from 2019. That ranked highest among Canadian provinces, though behind all three territories (the Northwest Territories topped the list at 414.5, followed by Nunavut at 368.4 and the Yukon at 214.5).
Public health restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic may have limited opportunities for many types of crime last year, Statistics Canada says.
The 2020 national CSI dropped eight per cent from 2019 while the crime rate dropped 10 per cent.
Nationally, there were significant decreases in the number of reported break and enters; thefts under $5,000; robberies and shoplifting under $5,000; administration of justice violations; and level 1 sexual assaults.
At the same time, there was a 37-per-cent increase in police-reported hate crimes, with 2,669 incidents reported in 2020, compared to 1,951 in 2019.
Saskatchewan recorded the highest homicide rate in Canada last year, with 5.09 homicides per 100,000 people.
By the numbers: Saskatoon Police Service releases crime stats
Saskatoon drops a spot in overall Crime Severity Index, but violent crime severity jumped in 2019
Saskatoon police chief reflects on 2020 as year draws to a close
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