Regina reports 20 per cent decrease in crime severity from 2019 to 2020

The Regina area has recorded a drop in the severity of reported crimes from 2019 to 2020, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Centre for Justice.

Regina reported a 20 per cent drop, the most significant decrease among census metropolitan areas (CMA). On Tuesday morning, the Regina Police Service presented the latest details on the crime severity index.

Police say this is largely due to a decline in break and enters, theft under $5,000, theft of vehicles and fraud.

The police chief says the pandemic changed people’s behaviours – which reduced the opportunity for a lot of crime.

“We saw property crime decreased significantly in 2020 and we’ve talked about that through the pandemic about how just the difference in behaviour, people working from home and businesses being closed down, has really allowed for a decrease in property-related crime in our community,” Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said.

The Regina CMA saw an 11 per cent increase in drug-related crimes from 2019 to 2020.

Bray says this is partially to do with extra enforcement being put on these investigations - but also because Regina is experiencing a major drug problem.

“Overdoses were at an all-time high,” Bray recalled. “We ended the year with over 1,200 overdoses in the year, approximately 10 per cent of those were fatal, which is a serious number and that’s a number that is very unique to our city.”

Out of the provinces and territories, Saskatchewan rated number three in homicide ratings at 5.09 - behind the Northwest Territories at 13.29 and Nunavut at 7.62

Saskatchewan ranked fourth in attempted murders with a rating of 3.90 - behind Nunavut at 17.79, the Yukon at 7.13 and Nova Scotia at 4.80. The province was also rated the highest in methamphetamine charges with a rate of 92.

Chief Bray said overall these numbers are down, but as restrictions lift across the country, Canada may see an increase in 2021 numbers.