Overview of Burnaby RCMP Crime Statistics
The crime and offence data in the quarterly Crime Stat Reports are drawn from the provincial Police Records Information Management Environment (PRIME). PRIME is a live records management system which captures crime and occurrences that are either reported to or discovered by police in British Columbia. However it is important to note that not all crime and occurrences are reported or otherwise brought to the attention of police.
Incidents reported to police may result in one or more offences or violations being counted. For example; if police are called to an incident involving an assault, there may be multiple other offences related to the assault such as uttering threats or mischief. This would result in three offences being counted.
Through investigation police determine or substantiate which offences, if any, took place. All reported incidents are considered founded at the outset, but may be determined to be unfounded upon investigation.
The summary information in the Crime Stat Reports should be considered preliminary incident data and may not represent statistics submitted to the Canadian Center for Justice Statistics (CCJS).
The data is subject to change for a variety of reasons including;
- Late reporting of incidents to police
- Reclassification due to changes in circumstance, the stage and/or outcome of an investigation
- Corrective action taken subsequent to quality assurance review
Such changes can affect the number and nature of offences recorded in PRIME.
Crime data for the quarterly reports is typically extracted from PRIME two weeks following the end of a quarter. The data extracted includes that for the current year, as well as the year previous. Year-to-date totals therefore reflect the most current data. (i.e., the data pertaining to all quarters in the two years is updated, or refreshed, and thus may differ from that published previously due to any of the reasons outlined in the bullet points above).
The data extracted includes all ‘founded’ incidents for all crimes and crime types (i.e., not just the most serious) occurring within the municipality of Burnaby and for which the Burnaby RCMP was the primary investigative unit.
Homicide data, provided by the Integrated Homicide Investigation team (IHIT) based on their investigational files, has been included for reference only.
Criminal Code offences are presented in three major categories:
- Crimes against persons (violent crimes)
- Crimes against property (property crimes)
- Other Criminal Code offences such as breach, indecent acts, bail violations, escape custody, cause disturbance, weapons, trespassing.
Summarized data for select offences (crime types) are highlighted within each of these crime categories, but additional offence types are included in the category totals.
These Criminal Code categories do not include offences under federal statutes such as the Customs Act or the Canada Shipping Act. They also do not include offences under provincial statutes, Criminal Code traffic offences, provincial and municipal traffic offences, or other municipal by-law infractions.
Incident files (or police occurrence reports) are generated either as a result of complaints received from the public (i.e., crime reported to police), or self-generated by police (e.g., crime discovered by police as a result of enforcement or patrol activity). It is important to keep in mind that reported crime does not always correlate with actual crime. As well, the volume of certain crimes may increase due to increased targeted police enforcement action, rather than an actual increase in the occurrence of that specific crime type (i.e., indicating instead that simply more crime is being detected).
The data also does not indicate or infer the number of charges laid, prosecutions conducted, informations sworn, or convictions obtained.
Prior to 2019, incidents of crime that were reported but could not be proven to have occurred when followed up by the police were considered to be
unfounded and were subtracted from the number of reported offence to produce the number of actual offences. As of January 2019, founded occurrences include offences where it has been determined that the reported incident did occur or was attempted, or there was no credible evidence to confirm that the incident did not take place. Prior to 2019, only offences that were proven to have occurred were included in founded occurrences. This change in reporting may result in an increase when comparing 2019 founded occurrences with reports from previous years.
More information can be found on the Statistics Canada website.
Comparing Crime Stats
The summarized crime data contained within the quarterly Crime Stat Reports (i.e., number of offences) may differ from figures provided by Statistics Canada and other agencies that utilize the UCR Survey to collect aggregate data on the incidence of crime. The UCR Survey uses the most serious offence (MSO) per incident rule when compiling police-reported crime data. The MSO rule stipulates that where a single criminal incident contains a number of violations of the law, then only the most serious one is recorded for UCR purposes. As a result, the total number of UCR offences does not represent the total of all crime reported by the police (i.e., the UCR Survey tends to underestimate the true incidence of relatively less serious crimes).
The data presented represents only a portion of the Burnaby RCMP records in the PRIME records management system; it also does not include all offences reported to the Canadian Centre of Justice Statistics. Data contained in this report is also based on information accumulated-to-date. The data presented here may vary from previously produced reports and numbers may continue to change on a daily basis due to the dynamic nature of offences being reported, investigated and/or cleared. Further, Statistics Canada redefines criminal offence codes on an ongoing basis, which may result in changes to how crimes are recorded within PRIME.
It is important to note that data collection and reporting can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Caution should always be taken when comparing crime data extracted at different times or by different agencies using different data sources and/or methodologies.
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