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Violent crime continues to rise in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo: Statcan report

Violent crime continued to trend upward in Waterloo Region last year.
Violent crime continued to trend upward in Waterloo Region last year. Kevin Nielsen / Global News

For the third year running, the violent crime severity index in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo made a drastic leap over the previous year.

On Thursday, Statistics Canada released its annual report of police-reported crime statistics, showing in 2019 the area had a 9.49 per cent increase over the year prior.

Read more: Violent crime up 15 per cent in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo in 2018

A year ago, the violent crime severity index for the area rose by a similar mark of 9.53 per cent whereas two years ago, it was up 23 per cent.

While violent crime went up by a hefty figure, the overall crime rate fell in the Tri-Cities area by 1.09 per cent from what was reported for 2018.

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The crime severity index is measured annually to record changes in crime. It takes into account both the severity of crimes and the number of crimes.

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The Canadian crime severity index was up 5.05 per cent while Ontario remained fairly stable with a .56 per cent increase.

Most other local metropolitan areas saw a decrease in the crime severity index, or a slight increase.

Guelph (down 9.37 per cent), Brantford (down 10.46 per cent) and London (down 1.80 per cent) were all headed in the right direction while Hamilton saw an uptick of 3.33 per cent.

Read more: Police seek dashcam footage in connection with Waterloo carjacking

Overall, police responded to 32,880 incidents in 2019, which is about a thousand less than the 33,769 reported a year earlier.

Of those calls, 7,788 of them were considered to be violent which is almost 1,000 more than were reported (6,874) a year earlier.

Included in those violent incidents were five murders in the region, two less than the previous year.

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