Crime has hit a new record low in Golden, according to annual data released by Statistics Canada.
The data shows Golden’s crime severity index (CSI), which measures Criminal Code violations weighted by the seriousness of offences. Golden’s CSI dropped to 53.81 in 2021 from 78.78 in 2020, a whopping 31.7 per cent swing.
It’s a 24-year low when Stats Canada first started tracking CSI back in 1998. The highest the CSI hit was 126.38 in 2001.
Since 2017, Golden’s CSI has steadily been dropping, starting at 93.61 in 2017, before lowering to 83.7 and 76.85 in the years following.
The CSI briefly went up in 2020, before plummeting in 2021.
The provincial score is 92.86 and the national score sits at 73.7.
Violent crime has also heavily decreased, dropping to 51.7 from 98.2 the year prior.
Cpl. Mike Wilson says that it’s hard to quantify exactly what is behind the sudden drop, as well as the overarching trend of decreasing crime severity.
He speculated that COVID could have played a role, with isolation and stay-at-home regulations taking a bite out of the number of Criminal Code violations that were seen.
However, he said that during COVID the detachment saw an increase in mental health calls and calls relating to that kind of assistance.
As for the overall trend of crime decreasing over the last few years in Golden, Wilson again says it’s hard to say, but that he hopes it’s from some of the outreach programs that the RCMP has been emphasizing over the last few years.
“One of the things we’ve tried to do is focus on our community interaction, we try to focus on proactive strategies,” said Wilson.
One example of their proactive approach is a course they recently offered to seniors on how to recognize cybercrime and easy steps to prevent it.
“Taking those steps and talking about things like fraud and how to look for those easy bite-sized things that are easy for people to absorb, hopefully, those can prevent problems in the first place.”
Wilson says that while it’s hard to tell if there’s anything in particular that the RCMP is doing to decrease crime, the detachment is happy regardless to see the numbers drop.
“Correlation doesn’t always equal causation, but when we see decreases, especially in hard crime and Criminal Code violations, it makes me happy to see those stats go down,” said Wilson.
“It’s hard to drill down those data points especially when we get into the social sciences of it all, but we’re always happy to see it.”