Safety from Crime

Created by Justin Quigley, MPlan Student

A set of keys hang from a lock in a door

The perception of safety in a community is a major contributor to community health. Exposure to crime or fear for one’s safety when travelling within their neighbourhood can result in negative health outcomes, such as lack of exercise, increased anxiety or behavioural changes1, 2. Research has shown that even low levels of crime in a neighbourhood can cause distress to the people living there, which can in turn become mental health concerns2. For the purposes of this study, only non-violent property crimes were included.

Per the RCMP, in most cities, property crime is the most commonly reported type of offence and highly contributes to the perceived level of safety of neighbourhood residents3. Crimes against property recorded for this study include theft, mischief (e.g. vandalism, destruction of property), and breaking-and-entering. Crime data from Halifax Regional Police was used*. The number of crimes reported in the data (2011-2016) by category of crime were summarized for each COMe. The property crime rate for each COMe was calculated as a rate per 100 people using the formula below:

The above equations says: 100 x (Total number of crimes reported in COMe over Total number of COMe).

*The data access was granted under the research agreement with Dr. Chris Giacomantonio, Halifax Regional Police.

1. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2020, October 8). Crime and Violence. HealthyPeople.gov. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health/interventions-resources/crime-and-violence

2. Dustmann, C. & Fasani, F. (2013. The effect of local area crime on mental health. The Economic Journal, 126(593), 978-1017. https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/97334/1/775224162.pdf

3. Thatcher, Amelia (2015, October 15). Property Crime. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/gazette/property-crime