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This census is listed in the British Columbia Archives, Textual Catalogue in document GR-0428 'Vancouver Island. Police And Prisons Dept. Esquimalt', volume 1. The label on volume is 'Esquimalt Charges Book, 1862 & 1865'. The inside title page is 'Charge Book Police Station, Esquimalt, V.I.'
There is only one reference in the book that specifically states that this is the 1871 census. On page 42 in the top margin is the date 12 Apr 1871. However the statistics for the population are the same as those quoted in official reports for the 1871 population. Also the many births, deaths and marriages are indicated and many have been found in the British Colonist newspaper.
The book is hard cover, bound with lined paper. The first 40 pages were used by the Esquimalt police as a charge book. The census was entered on pages 42 to 102 and a statistical summary was added on page 104. Following the census pages 106 to 109 have not been used. The data required 2 pages for all the columns and each page contained 35 names except the last page which only had 4 names.
The person who copied the names into the book drew vertical lines to create the columns for the data. The headings are in ink but the data was entered in pencil. It appears that all the data was entered by the same person. The handwriting is generally legible but several names were not transcirbed or were transcibed with low confidence. These names will either have dashes (----), to indicate that the name was not readable, or italized to indicate that an educated guess was made.
The enumerator also entered a street name and / or date in the top margin of some pages. I have included these but it appears that the street was the one that the enumerator started on, and can not be regarded as the street for everyone on that page.
The columns that were in the book were: name, # white males, # white females, # Chinese males, # Chinese females, # coloured males, # coloured females, # native males, # native female, # total males, # total females, # children male, # children female, # at school male, # at school female, agriculturalist, manufacturing, mining, trade, a blank column. example
Since the information in the last 5 columns was minimal I have combined them into a remarks line. In addition to occupational information, the enumerator has indicated that a number of people have been born, died or married but I can only guess that this refers to the last 12 months. Also for some people listed as 'Native', the band has been included in either the occupation or blank columns. These include Hydah, Tswapesan, Songish, Fort Rupert, New Westminster, Comox, Nanaimo, Chemainus, Nimpkish, Bela Bela, Langas, Tsimpcan and Cowichan.
I have added entries from the 1871 Victoria Directory* to help clerify the spelling of surnames.

* First Victoria directory, third [i.e. fourth] issue, and British Columbia guide [microform]: comprising a general directory of business-men and householders in Victoria and the districts with full lists of every important district in the colony: also, an official list, &c., &c., with preface and statistics, 1871 / by Edwd. Mallandaine.