Editorial: North Cowichan crime ranking worth a critical eye at stats

Is it really that dangerous here?

Is it really that dangerous here?

The answer to that question is no, in our opinion.

If one only takes a cursory look at Macleans magazine’s ranking of North Cowichan as the 41st most dangerous community in Canada one might be led to panic.

But don’t board up the windows and doors just yet. We tend to agree with the cautious approach to the numbers that’s been taken by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

First off, there’s been no division made between Cowichan communities, so calling these stats “North Cowichan” is problematic.

Second, some of the numbers are so small that a single incident or arrest can significantly skew the results.

For example, there were two homicides in the area in 2016. That’s unusual. In 2017, so far the number is zero. But when you’re taking such small numbers and trying to project them to a per 100,000 number the percentage becomes bizarre.

The RCMP are also correct that things end up looking worse the more they do their job. More arrests and charges mean higher stats, but presumably they also mean making our community safer. Ditto prolific offenders.

Is there more crime here than the community would like? Of course. Until the numbers are zero that’s going to be the case.

And we do have some areas where the numbers are worrying — domestic violence stats, for instance are nothing to be proud of and something we need to keep working on.

But let’s face it, when you walk down the street in Duncan or Chemainus, or head to the beach at Maple Bay, or stop for a coffee in Crofton, do you feel like you’re about to be set upon by gangs of miscreants? For the most part our communities are pretty great. Most of us feel safe in our homes and on our streets. So while the stats are interesting and can even perhaps point the way for things that need further attention, they also need to be looked at without hysteria and with a critical eye.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Big Stick light up red to signal COVID devastation

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

MacGregor hosting virtual town hall on green COVID economic recovery

“Making the right investment decisions now to ensure a visionary carbon-conscious recovery…”

Elder College going online with dozens of courses this fall

There are 16 courses in the September session

Thanksgiving Food Drive coming to your door in Cowichan

Next week will be your chance to help meet the food crisis

Cowichan Community Centre Elder College celebrates 20th anniversary

Volunteer instructors are the key to success.

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read