A Detailed Look At Crime In Calgary By The Numbers
When the Blue Line of the LRT opened in late 2012, it brought with it a very noticeable, if not unexpected, increase in crime in the neighbourhoods that it passes through. I wanted to find out for myself exactly what the situation was in my neighbourhood, beyond what I was seeing myself and hearing about from others.
I looked up the statistics that the Calgary Police Service (CPS) has available on their website. There I found a great deal of information, some of it very detailed, which helped me get an understanding of what was going on not only in my community, but in every community in Calgary. The data went back to 2012, so I used that as a starting point, and began collecting and analyzing it up to the end of 2018.
All figures refer to number of offenses committed and were gathered from Calgary Police Service monthly and quarterly statistics.
I started out by looking at the statistics for “Social Disorder” calls to CPS. These calls constitute the bulk of the calls frontline members deal with on a daily basis. These include:
- -Indecent Act
- -Intoxicated Person(s)
- -Mental Health
- -Neighbor Dispute
- -Noise Complaint
- -Party Complaint
- -Possible Gunshots
- -Suspicious Person(s)
- -Suspicious Vehicle
- -Unwanted Guest
Starting in 2009, the Total Number of Social Disorder Calls increased year to year until 2018, when it finally contracted slightly. Between 2009 and 2017, there was a 37% increase in the Total Number of Social Disorder Calls. The largest increases appeared in the sub-categories of Suspicious Vehicles (+4,004), Disturbance (+4,423), Unwanted Guest (+8,886) and, Suspicious Person (+10,578).
Vehicle Theft Incl. Attempts
Vehicle Thefts also rose dramatically in 2015, up 66% over 2014 (+3148). After dropping again in 2016 it has also risen steadily into 2018 ending the year 45% higher than 2014 levels (+2131).
Property Crime 2014 – 2018
Between 2014 and the end of 2018 property crimes in Calgary rose 37% with the largest percentage increases occurring in B&E’s (66%), Fraud (58%), and Theft (47%).
Break & Enter
Overall most forms of theft saw huge increases between 2014 and 2015, the beginning of the economic downturn, dropping back after that but still higher than 2014 levels.
The biggest increase in Break & Enter thefts from 2014 to 2018 was in Commercial B&E’s which were up by an incredible 145% (+3896). Overall B&E’s were up by 66% from 2014-2018 (+3896).
The total number of thefts between 2014 and 2018 increased by 47% (+9426). The biggest increase on a percentage basis was in Theft Over $5000, which saw an increase of 206% (+559), followed by Theft From Vehicles which was up 88% (+6731). Shoplifting Under $5000 was up 53% (+2115).
Total Property Crime
The number of property crimes exploded in 2015, up by a whopping 36% from 2014. The number settled lower the following year but then rose again into 2018. 2018 ended 37% higher (+15435) than 2014.