‘Very good news’: Barrie ranks low on Crime Severity Index

“We are once again the safest metropolitan area in the country in terms of violent crime and that is something we can be proud of as a community,” says Barrie Mayor

Barrie had the third-lowest Crime Severity Index (CSI) in Canada last year, according to figures released by Statistics Canada.

This city’s GI was 45.9 in 2021. Only Quebec City (42.6) and Toronto (45.5) had lower GIs among 35 Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs). Barrie also had the third-lowest CSI in 2020, just behind Quebec and Saguenay, Quebec.

The ICS measures the overall seriousness of crime from year to year, according to Statistics Canada, by tracking both the prevalence of crime within a community and the severity of the crimes committed.

A CMA is made up of one or more neighboring municipalities located around a major urban core and must have a total population of 100,000, of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. Barrie CMA includes parts of Springwater Township and Innisfil.

Lethbridge, Alta., had Canada’s highest confidence index last year, at 128.7, followed by Kelowna, British Columbia, at 122.3 and Winnipeg at 113.6.

Canada’s CSI was 73.7 last year, which is virtually unchanged from 2020.

Barrie’s Violent Crime Severity Index remained stable last year.

While Barrie’s Crime Severity Index rose 2% last year after falling 13% between 2011 and 2021 violent crime has not increased.

“Despite the uptick, this is very good news,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said. “Barrie continues to outperform the province as a whole and the country as a whole. We are once again the safest metropolitan area in the country in terms of violent crime and that is something to be proud of as a community.

“The work that Barrie Police have done, supported by so many others in the city, continues to make us one of the safest places in the country to live,” he added.

Barrie’s violent crime severity index was the lowest in the country, at 50.2, just ahead of Guelph at 51.6 and Saint John, NB, at 53.8. Thunder Bay had the highest violent crime severity index last year at 176.3, followed by Winnipeg at 159.6 and Regina at 141.3, according to Statistics Canada.

Barrie’s Non-Violent Crime Severity Index also increased by 2% from 2020 to 2021.

“Any time there’s an increase in any level of crime, there’s a level of concern,” said Peter Leon, communications coordinator with Barrie Police. “We know that crime knows no borders and can happen anywhere.”

According to Statistics Canada, the offenses driving the increase in Barrie’s Crime Severity Index were more break and enter offences.

There were 377 break and enters in 2020 in Barrie and 439 in 2021, Leon said.

Ontario’s total Crime Severity Index rose 1% from 2020 to 2021, after falling 8% from 2011 to 2021. The province’s Violent Crime Severity Index rose 4% from 2020 to 2021.

Canada’s total Crime Severity Index from 2020 to 2021 has not changed, after falling 5% from 2011 to 2021. The country’s Violent Crime Severity Index increased by 5% from 2020 to 2021.

To read the full Statistics Canada report, Click here.

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