The New Brunswick Police Association says different protocols for recording statistics could account for the fluctuations in crime rates across Canada.

Statistics compiled by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics and released Tuesday by Statistics Canada showed the country’s crime is at its lowest level in 40 years.

The national and New Brunswick severity of crime index, which tracks the extent of serious crime in Canada, both declined by six per cent last year.

The national statistics agency also indicated the volume of crime being reported across the country was down in most cities.

Saint John saw its total crime severity index rating fall by 14 per cent between 2010 and 2011.

During the same period, Moncton’s crime rate increased by three per cent but at the same time saw its crime severity index rating drop by six per cent.

Dean Secord, the president of the New Brunswick Police Association, said people should not read too much into the numbers.

Secord said each police department handles crime statistics differently.

"The Codiac region, they have their stats. Saint John is probably a little different. Fredericton, it’s probably a little different again and so forth," Secord said.

"I think that they all have to get together and you know say, 'Look it, this is how we got to keep the stats.'"

Statistics Canada seems to agree saying different police policies and enforcement practices can affect the comparability of crime stats at the municipal level.