What’s crime like in Waterloo Region? How do Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo compare?
As an agent it’s expected that I’d have a solid understanding of the neighbourhoods I serve, and I do. This comes from experience and also from paying attention to the news. Living in the area for more than 50 years really helps too.
But I don’t know everything and it would be arrogant to pretend otherwise. For instance, I’ve never lived in Cambridge. Instead I spent half my life in Kitchener and half in Waterloo.
Knowing about crime in Waterloo Region is part of my job description. My buyers expect that. And hard data is always better than anecdotal stories and gut feelings that can be vague and even incorrect.
The Crime Map
What if I told you that I have access to that data, and you do as well? If you were looking for a home or somewhere to rent, having a map of criminality would be a pretty handy thing to have. The Waterloo Regional Police Service provides exactly that.
Their ‘crime map’ tool gives access to historic data going back a little over a decade. Here’s the Crime Map link on the Waterloo Regional Police Service statistics page. You can select from any number of different crimes (and service calls) and input up to six of them simultaneously.
The mapping tool displays occurrences across the 28 patrol zones in Waterloo Region that the Waterloo Regional Police Service covers. The zones show various shades of blue depending on the frequency of reporting.
Working with the crime map, it’s obvious that the vast majority of criminality occurs in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo simply because that’s where most of the population lives.
The 5 Year Crime Report
I’ve looked up 9 crime types that most people would want to know about. They are Assault, Break & Enter, Car Theft, Drugs, Robbery, Sex Crimes, Theft Under $5000, Theft Over $5000 and Weapons Offences. The current version of my report uses crime data from 2018 to the end of 2022. Click on the picture below and I’ll send you a copy.
The Bad Neighbourhoods?
I’m not going to single-out cities and neighbourhoods today. I work with buyers and with sellers and that brings up some ethical considerations that I need to be careful of.
Providing info on crime and neighbourhood safety as a buyer’s agent is definitely my responsibility. And I can tell you that I have dug very deeply into the ‘crime map’ database. Performing due diligence for clients is part of the job.
But making that knowledge public is not the right thing to do. It would hurt homeowners and the reputations of the communities they live in. The problem with ‘problem neighbourhoods’ isn’t the vast majority of people living there, it’s the criminals.
Any public disclosures I make would be an issue professionally and ethically if I work with a seller client in a higher crime area. As someone representing my seller’s interests it’s not my role to throw shade on their neighbourhood.
Three Good Areas
Talking about the three patrol zones in Waterloo Region with the lowest crime levels is perfectly fine. But first, a caveat; I am going to exclude rural areas due to low population numbers, as well as Waterloo Park and the Uptown Square, and Riverside Park in Preston simply because no one really lives there.
Just like my crime report, I used Assault, Break & Enter, Car Theft, Drugs, Robbery, Sex Crimes, Theft Under $5000, Theft Over $5000 and Weapons Offences for my rankings. I went back as far as 2015 to capture a few years of solid crime data.
In Waterloo, the medium sized North 3 zone had the outright lowest numbers but only 20% of this zone is actually in Waterloo and represents at most 250 homes. North 7, covering the north-west end of the city, has almost identical crime numbers. But it covers a huge area by comparison making the crime rate per resident far lower, and making North 7 my number one choice for Waterloo.
Central 7 in the south-west end is the clear winner in Kitchener. This area is a mix of brand new construction and older suburbia situated west of Homer Watson.
In Cambridge, South 3 comes in on top. This area covers the Southwood area of Galt to the west side of the Grand River. I’ve had 2 clients buy here in the last year.
You should know that the doctrine of caveat emptor applies when buying a home. Crime statistics in Waterloo Region are public knowledge, and a potential buyer must rely on themselves or their buyer agent to research a property thoroughly.
Chose wisely when picking your agent and your home.