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Prince George was B.C.’s 2022 crime capital

Prince George, Richmond, Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna were the Top 5 most dangerous big cities in B.C. in 2022.
Downtown Prince George skyline
Prince George had the highest Crime Severity Index score among B.C.'s 20 largest municipalities in 2022.

Prince George was the most crime-ridden large city in B.C. in 2022, according to data released by Statistics Canada last month.

Prince George’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) score was the highest among the province’s 20 largest municipalities last year, and more than double the B.C. average. The index ranks the amount and seriousness of crime in a community, on a per capital basis, against an average score of 100.

In 2022, the national average CSI score was 78.1 and the B.C. average was 100.37.

We ranked B.C.’s 20 largest municipalities, from most to least dangerous, in order of 2022 CSI score:

  1. City of Prince George: 207.5
  2. City of Richmond: 180.12
  3. City of Victoria: 157.71
  4. City of Kamloops: 156.7
  5. City of Kelowna: 150.74
  6. City of Naniamo: 140.26
  7. City of Chilliwack: 129.62
  8. City of Surrey: 98.84
  9. City of Vancouver: 91.99
  10. City of North Vancouver: 89.85
  11. City of Maple Ridge: 87.33
  12. City of New Westminster: 84.73
  13. City of Abbotsford: 78.01
  14. Township of Langley: 77.44
  15. City of Burnaby: 76.23
  16. City of Port Coquitlam: 72.43
  17. City of Coquitlam: 65.08
  18. City of Delta: 59.98
  19. District of Saanich: 51.32
  20. District of North Vancouver: 36.29

A long history of crime

Prince George is no stranger to high crime. A Citizen analysis of the CSI scores from 1998 to 2021 showed that the northern B.C. city had the highest average Crime Severity Index among B.C.’s 20 largest municipalities over a 24-year period.

While Prince George remained the most crime-ridden big city in B.C. in 2022, the city saw its CSI score drop by nine per cent from 2021, when it stood at 227.54.

Prince George’s violent Crime Severity Index was 220.81 in 2022, down from 242.14 in 2021. The city’s non-violent Crime Severity Index was 203.3 in 2022, down from 223.63 in 2021.

What is the Severity Crime Index?

According to Statistics Canada, the Crime Severity Index is a tool to measure the level of severity of crime in Canada, and Canadian provinces and municipalities, from year to year.

All Criminal Code of Canada violations, including traffic and drug violations, and all federal statutes are counted, and assigned a weight, based on the seriousness of the crime. The base score is 100, based on the national average in 2006, and is calculated on a per capita basis.

A score above 100 indicates crime above that 2006 average, while a score below 100 indicates crime levels below that average.

“More serious crimes are assigned higher weights, less serious offences lower weights. As a result, more serious offences have a greater impact on changes in the index,” according to Statistics Canada’s website.