Accuracy of Statistics / Comparing Data
Accuracy of Statistics
The Planning, Research & Audit Section of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) provides accurate
statistics on this site. However, these monthly summary statistics are subject to change or may differ
slightly from the previous month's data due to a number of considerations.
The statistical data used for these reports is gathered from PRIME (Police Records Information Management Environment).
As this system is considered "live," the offences reported here can change on a daily basis. Examples of note include:
- an assault can become a homicide
- a motor vehicle accident may be changed from a MV-Fatal to a Sudden Death if the Coroner finds the driver’s cause of death occurred prior to the accident
- as posted numbers are current as of a certain date, monthly totals may not add up to yearly totals as a sexual assault can be reported months after it occurred
Comparing Crime Statistics
The following data considerations must be taken into account when interpreting these statistics:
1. Ongoing Data Refinement
- late reporting of crime incidents
- charges that have been investigated and reclassified as unfounded - for example, a vehicle may be
reported as stolen but ended up being borrowed by a family member
- reclassification of Uniformed Crime Reporting (UCR) offences
- reclassification of an offence while an investigation is ongoing
2. Number of Offences – Method of Counting
The VPD reports our statistics using the "most serious offence method." Other policing agencies may present their crime statistics using the "all violations method." It is important to note these differences in reporting when comparing our crime statistics to other police agencies and Statistics Canada.
3. Changes to Statistics Canada Offence Codes
Statistics Canada redefine offence codes on an ongoing basis. Therefore, it is important that caution is taken when comparing statistics to previous years.
These considerations must be taken into account when comparing statistics presented, and account for inconsistencies that may be identified. The most recent data published will reflect these changes.
4. Motor Vehicle Accidents Removed From Monthly Statistics Tables
Effective January 2012, motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) have been removed from the monthly statistics tables. The reason for this change is because VPD MVAs data differs substantially from ICBC reported traffic injury data. ICBC data speaks to the safety of the roads, whereas data from the VPD is more reflective of workload.
For example, if calls for service are lower than usual or officers have more proactive time, then officers have more time to attend a MVA where there is an injury. Conversely, if calls for service are higher or proactive time is lower then officers will not be able to attend as many MVA-with-injury incidents.
This data will be reported in the Key Performance Indicator reports on a quarterly basis for the Vancouver Police Board. Of final note, to accommodate late reporters, ICBC data is one quarter behind in reporting injury statistics.