A Statistics Canada survey released Thursday shows Manitoba has the third highest crime rate of the Canadian provinces, behind Saskatchewan and B.C.

Manitoba's crime rate was 10,723 per 100,000 people. Newfoundland had the lowest crime rate, with 5,711 crimes per 100,000 people. Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon all reported crime rates much higher than those of any of the provinces.

Manitoba reported a small decrease in property crime, but a four per cent increase in violent crime.

Winnipeg Police Chief Jack Ewatski says the vast majority of the increase is due to a 37% rise in domestic assaults.

"I think the level of domestic violence is probably always remains the same," said Ewatski. "It's the issue of reporting. I think people that are involved in situations where domestic violence is a reality are feeling more comfortable with the systems that are in place, [and] they are coming forward."

Ewatski says if the police service was to deal with all the domestic violence calls it gets, it would have to dedicate 79 officers full time to the problem every day of the year.

The Statistics Canada survey was based on crime rates reported by police. Nationally, the crime rate fell one per cent, the ninth consecutive annual decrease.