Crime was on the rise in the Capital Region last year but the long-term trend reveals a far safer community than 10 or 20 years ago, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.

The agency's crime severity index measures both the volume and severity of crimes reported on an annual basis.

In 2018, Victoria and Esquimalt saw a year-over-year increase of five per cent on the index, compared to a two-per-cent increase nationally. Overall, British Columbia's crime severity index was flat, with no measurable change from the previous year.

Violent crime in Victoria and Esquimalt grew by two and a half per cent in 2018, while non-violent crime was up more than six per cent.

The national violent crime index increased by about one and a half per cent last year but fell in B.C. by the same amount. Non-violent crime was up two and a half per cent nationwide last year while increasing by just one per cent in B.C.

While the numbers show a year-over-year increase in crime in Greater Victoria, the bigger picture indicates the opposite.

Between 2008 and 2018, the crime severity index for Victoria actually fell by more than a third, dropping from 177 points in 2008 to 117 points in 2018, continuing a downward trend since 1998, the earliest that crime severity index data are available.

Crime was similarly down across B.C. during the same 10-year period.