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.

Just Posted

Cowichan U21s start strong and hold on to beat Bays

Strikers Kits and Jack set the tone for Cowichan United

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Cowichan LMG holds off Bays United

Div. 1 soccer team gets second win of the season over old friends

Upgrades at Crofton ferry terminal expected in 2022

Public consultations expected to begin in 2019

VIDEO: Cobble Hill welcomes Christmas with frolicsome show

From lovely carols to humorous skits: a big crowd enjoyed it all on Sunday, Dec. 9

Coming up in Cowichan: Celebrate the second floor with the HUB

Celebrate the second floor this weekend at HUB at Cowichan Station Dec.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Most Read