Safety

Why it matters:

A sense of security and safety affects the quality-of-life in Nova Scotia and our ability to enjoy life to its fullest. Personal safety determines how Nova Scotians socialize and participate in their communities.

Overall Crime

Crime Severity Index

Overall Crime SeverityThe Crime Severity Index reflects the relative seriousness of the offences committed. The index was set at 100 for Canada in 2006.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s Overall Crime Severity Index level was 83.5, or approximately the same as the national level (82.7). After peaking at 106.7 in 2004, Nova Scotia`s Overall Crime Severity Index has been consistently declining. Its 2010 level was down 21%from its 1998 level (105.2). This downward trend is consistent with the national trend which saw a 30% drop from 118.8 in 1998 to 82.7 in 2010.

Total Crime Rate

Total Crime RateCrime rates measure the volume of crime reported to police.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s total crime rate was 698.0 per 10,000 people, 14% above the national rate (614.5). Nova Scotia’s rate increased 1% from 2009, compared to a 5% decrease nationally. Canada’s rate has generally declined since 1998, while Nova Scotia’s rate has been more variable. From 2004 to 2008, Nova Scotia’s rate decreased consistently. Since 2008 it has remained stable.

Violent Crime Severity Index

Violent Crime SeverityThe Violent Crime Severity Index reflects the relative seriousness of the offences committed. Violent crimes involve the application, or threat of application, of force to a person. The index was set at 100 for Canada in 2006.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s Violent Crime Severity Index level was 84.5, 5% below the national level (88.9). Nova Scotia’s level decreased 6% from 89.7 in 2009, and was approximately the same as its 1998 level (85.0). Nova Scotia’s Violent Crime Severity Index peaked in 2006 at 106.7 and has been declining ever since. This downward trend is consistent with what has been happening nationally.

Total Violent Crime Rate

Reported Violent CrimesViolent crimes involve the application, or threat of application, of force to a person. Crime rates measure the volume of crime reported to police.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s violent crime rate was 156.4 per 10,000 people, 22% above the national rate (128.2). Nova Scotia’s rate decreased 6% from 165.6 in 2009 and was approximately the same as its 1998 level (155.2). Since 1998, Nova Scotia’s violent crime rate has consistently exceeded the national rate.

Non-Violent Crime Severity Index

Violent Crime SeverityThe Non-Violent Crime Severity Index reflects the relative seriousness of the offences committed. Non-violent crime includes both property offences and other non-violent Criminal Code offences. The index was set at 100 for Canada in 2006.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s Non-Violent Crime Severity Index level was 83.1, 4% above the national level (80.3). Nova Scotia’s level increased 2% from 81.7 in 2009, and was down 27% from its 1998 level (113.3). Since 2004, Nova Scotia’s Non-Violent Crime Severity Index level has been declining, with the exception of this most recent year. This downward trend is consistent with what has been happening nationally.

Total Non-Violent Crime Rate

Non-Violent CrimesNon-violent crimes include both property offences and other non-violent Criminal Code offences. Crime rates measure the volume of crime reported to police.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s non-violent crime rate was 541.6 per 10,000 people, 11% above the national rate (486.2). Over time, Nova Scotia’s non-violent crime rate has generally followed the same trend as that found nationally, with the exception of the most recent year, where Nova Scotia’s rate has increased and the national rate has decreased.

Crime Rates by Justice Centre

Crime Rates

Total Violent Crime Rate (based on police-reported crimes per 10,000 people) by Justice Centre (2009)

Highest Rates

Sydney (206.5)
Truro (178.8)
Yarmouth (173.5)

Lowest Rates

Bridgewater (124.2)
Antigonish (126.4)
Kentville (140.4)

The rate for the province was 165.4 violent crimes per 10,000 people.

Total Non-Violent Crime Rate (based on police-reported crimes per 10,000 people) by Justice Centre (2009)

Highest Rates

Sydney (652.8)
Truro (602.4)
New Glasgow (582.3)

Lowest Rates

Port Hawkesbury(358.8)
Antigonish (366.6)
Bridgewater (369.1)

The rate for the province was 527.8 non-violent crimes per 10,000 people.

Property Crime Rate

Reported Property CrimesProperty crimes involve acts with the intent of gaining property, but do not involve the use, or threat, of violence against a person. Crime rates measure the volume of crime reported to police.

In 2010, Nova Scotia’s property crime rate was 433.4 per 10,000 people, 12.7% above the national rate (384.6). It was down 19.7% from 540.1 in 1998. Since 2004, Nova Scotia’s property crime rate has exceeded the national rate each year, with the exception of 2008. Since 2008, Nova Scotia’s property crime rate has increased 4.1% from 4,162 to 4,334, while the national rate has decreased 9.5% from 4,249 to 3,846.

Total Police-reported Traffic Crimes

Reported Traffic CrimesInvolve traffic violations that cause death or bodily harm, or put people at risk of death or bodily harm, through behaviours such as impaired driving, dangerous driving, and stunting/drag racing. Crime rates measure the volume of crime reported to police.

In 2010, at 43.5 per 10,000 people, the traffic crime rate in Nova Scotia was 6.0% above the national rate (41.0). Since 1998, 2010 was the first year in which Nova Scotia’s rate exceeded the national rate. Nova Scotia’s rate has been steadily increasing since 2007, while the national rate has been decreasing. Nova Scotia’s 2010 rate was up 21.5% from 35.8 in 1998, while nationally the rate was down 12.6% from 46.9 in 1998.