This is a selection of highlights from Statistics Canada reports on Canadian crime statistics and homicide statistics in recent years. These statistics capture general trends in crime across the country.
The Canadian crime statistics are from annual reports by Statistics Canada using data collected using the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey. The UCR Survey collects information on criminal incidents reported to police services across the country, and substantiated by the police, using a standardized set of crime categories and definitions developed with the co-operation of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
The homicide statistics are also published in annual reports by Statistics Canada and use data collected by the Homicide Survey. When a homicide becomes known to the police, questionnaires are filled in by the police service and sent to Statistics Canada. New information is submitted to Statistics Canada as it becomes available.
The number of homicides in Canada went down significantly in 2010, according to Statistics Canada's Homicide Survey
. The drop in the homicide rate which was at its lowest level in 40 years was mainly due to a decline in homicides in the western provinces, especially in British Columbia. Even with the declines in the west, the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan still had homicide rates double the national average.
Statistics Canada reported that the national crime rate in Canada went down another five percent in 2010. Although the drop was mainly due to fewer property crimes, the 2010 homicide rate
also went down 10 percent.
There were 610 homicides in Canada in 2009. That's one less than in 2008. Statistics Canada reported that stabbing was the favorite method of murder, and that most of the homicide victims knew their killer.
Crime statistics for 2007 in Canada once again show the national crime rate going down. Fewer counterfeiting and property offences were reported, there were fewer violent crimes, including murders, and the crime rate for young people was also down a bit.
Canadian crime statistics reached a 25-year low in 2006, due to the decrease in non-violent crimes, such as break-ins and counterfeiting. The number of violent crimes, such as aggravated assaults, stayed on a par with 2005, but the total number of murders was down about 10 percent after rising in the two previous years. Drug crimes were up about two percent.
In 2005, the national homicide rate in Canada went up for the second year in a row. The increase in homicides mostly involved gang activity with the use of firearms. The number of young people accused of homicides also rose. The national homicide rate was still well below its peak in Canada in the middle of the 1970s.
The national crime rate went up in Canada in 2003, not because of violent crime, which stayed steady, or murders, which went down, but because of a dramatic increase in counterfeiting crimes. Property crimes and disturbing the peace were also on the rise.
In 1999, the Canadian crime rate had been falling for eight years in a row, and hit a 20-year low. The provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia led the decrease. The two criminal offences that bucked the trend and increased were drug-related offences and disturbing the peace.