On August 30, Chief Chu and Mayor Robertson released our Annual Report and spoke about a number of issues and statistics. One of those statistics that we’ve been monitoring all year has been the increase in sexual assaults.
Understandably, when we released our Annual Report which indicated sexual offences had risen 21.2%, it resulted in some questions. While this statistic is correct, it is based on incidents that were reported, rather than incidents that occurred during the period in question.
Statistics based on reported incidents tend to inflate the actual crime situation, as they include historical and other data that may not have occurred in the period of study.
A report was commissioned and the Executive asked for a detailed analysis of statistics contributing to the increase in sex offences. The resulting report regenerated the statistics over three years (2008-2010) for the months of January to August, using incident data, to portray an accurate picture of what sex crimes recently took place on the street.
We used the codes 1310 (SEXUAL ASSAULT / AGGRAVATED), 1320 (SEXUAL ASSAULT W/WEAPON OR CBH), 1330 (SEXUAL ASSAULT) and began our analysis.
For 2010, the number reported is 360, but 58 of those were historical.
- 2008 reported: 300
- 2008 occurred: 272
- 2009 reported: 318 (up 6%)
- 2009 occurred: 290 (up 6.6%)
- 2010 reported: 360 (up 13%)
- 2010 occurred: 302 (up 4.1%)
This is including unfounded incidents, which over the past three years has been approximately 10 to 15% of sexual assault incidents.
After removing unfounded incidents (when the victim admits to being untruthful), the results were as follows:
- 2008 occurred: 235
- 2009 occurred: 249 (up 6%)
- 2010 occurred: 273 (up 9.6%)
Of these founded incidents, the breakdown of offence type is as follows:
Penetration: sexual assaults involving penetration; vaginal/anal intercourse, oral sex and digital penetration.
Non-Penetration: sexual assaults not involving penetration such as a grope, grab or kiss.
- 2008: 235 – penetration, 96; non-penetration, 134; unknown, 5
- 2009: 249 – penetration, 122; non-penetration, 127; unknown 0
- 2010: 273 – penetration, 116; non-penetration, 157; unknown 0
The Bottom Line
During the months of January to August, legitimate sexual assault incidents in Vancouver have increased 6% from 2008 to 2009, and 9.6% from 2009 to 2010.
Incidents of non-penetration sexual assaults (i.e. a grope, grab or kiss) are on the rise in Vancouver.
- most of the assaults are committed by strangers to the victim
- the most vulnerable age groups are those in the over-25 years and the 19-to-24 age group categories
- sexual assaults occur mainly during the late evening, early morning hours
- alcohol, in some capacity, was involved in about 31 to 43% of sexual assault incidents over the last three years