The severity of crime is decreasing nationwide — but Halifax is bucking the trend.

New Statistics Canada numbers released yesterday reveal the severity of violent crime across Canada decreased by one per cent in 2009, while the severity of non-violent crime decreased by four per cent.

The severity of violent crime in the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, however, rose by three per cent. Non-violent crime severity increased by one per cent.

Mia Dauvergne, the report’s co-author, said while Halifax is above the national average, violent crime here is well below that of most Western CMAs.

Halifax’s overall crime rate has decreased by 32 per cent since 2005, and one per cent over the past year. Also, the amount of reported violent and non-violent crimes decreased last year, by three per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter said a small increase in homicides — five more in 2009 than 2008 — caused the seemingly large percentage spike.