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Crime rate and crime severity climb in Nunavut

The crime rate in Nunavut rose eight per cent and the crime severity index was up by six per cent in 2018, according to Statistics Canada data released Monday.

Nunavut's crime severity index -- a formula used to gauge the "scale of seriousness" of crime -- was the second highest in the country in 2018, trailing only the Northwest Territories. The index rose by one per cent in Nunavut in 2017 and by seven per cent in 2016.

In addition to Nunavut and the NWT, five provinces also reported higher crime severity indexes in 2018.

Across Canada, Indigenous peoples, including Inuit, accounted for almost 22 per cent of homicide victims -- 140 of 651 people killed -- in 2018 despite representing only five per cent of Canada's overall population. That's down from nearly 24 per cent in 2017.

Indigenous peoples accused of committing homicide was close to 30 per cent of all those accused. However, the 150 Indigenous people accused of homicide in 2018 represented the lowest number since there were 149 in 2014, and was well down from 218 recorded in 2017.