Barrie had the third lowest crime severity index (CSI) in Canada last year, according to figures released by Statistics Canada.
This city’s CSI was 45.9 in 2021. Only Quebec City (42.6) and Toronto (45.5) had lower CSIs among 35 Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMA). Barrie also had the third lowest CSI in 2020, just behind Québec City and Saguenay, Que.
CSI measures the overall seriousness of crime from one year to the next, according to Statistics Canada, by tracking both the prevalence of crime within a community and the seriousness of the crimes committed.
A CMA consists of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated 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. The Barrie CMA includes portions of Springwater Township and Innisfil.
Lethbridge, Alta., had Canada’s highest CSI last year, at 128.7, followed by Kelowna, B.C., 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 the crime severity index in Barrie increased by two per cent last year — after falling by 13 per cent from 2011 until 2021 — violent crime did not increase.
“Despite the slight rise, this is very good news,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Barrie continues to outperform the broader province and country as a whole. We’re the safest metropolitan area in the country again in terms of violent crime and that is something to be proud of as a community.
“The work Barrie police has been doing, supported by so many others in the city, continues to make us one of the safest places anywhere in the country to live," he added.
Barrie’s violent crime severity index was the nation’s lowest, at 50.2, just ahead of Guelph at 51.6 and Saint John, N.B., 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 two per cent from 2020 to 2021.
“Anytime there’s an increase in any level of crime, there’s a level of concern,” said Peter Leon, communications co-ordinator with Barrie police. “We know crime has no boundaries and it can occur anywhere.”
Statistics Canada says the violations driving the increase in Barrie’s crime severity index were more break-and-enter offences.
There were 377 break-ins during 2020 in Barrie and 439 in 2021, Leon said.
Ontario’s total crime severity index increased by one per cent from 2020 to 2021, after falling by eight per cent from 2011 until 2021. This province’s violent crime severity index increased by four per cent from 2020 to 2021.
Canada’s total crime severity index from 2020-2021 did not change, after dropping by five per cent from 2011 until 2021. The nation’s violent crime severity index increased by five per cent from 2020-2021.
To read the full report from Statistics Canada, click here.