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

Huge demand for spot prawns, limited supply for Cowichan

Most of the more than 200 boats harvesting spot prawns freeze their catch and ship it away.

Andrea Rondeau column: Positives on the environmental front

Does hearten me so many people concerned about future of environment they’re taking it to the polls.

Bantam B Thunder win a wild one

Cowichan comes home with gold from inaugural Comox tournament

Sarah Simpson Column: Airing out my dirty laundry

Last week I visited Mill Bay resident Judy van der Boom to… Continue reading

Snyder comes up big as Tigers mercy Red Sox

Pitcher clobbers a dinger to lock up mercy win

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

B.C. ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read