Halloween crime is still a problem for police across Canada, according to Statistics Canada. The national number crunching agency has released another analysis of scary crime data showing that during Halloween 2014, property crime reports to police skyrocketed roughly 52 per cent from a week earlier. Other crimes spiked, but not at the dramatic rate for property offences. Across all categories, crime reports to police increased 4.5 per cent at Halloween 2014.
They come with more caveats than an over-the-counter libido booster, but Canada’s national crime statistics will be delivered Wednesday, July 22. The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, a branch of Statistics Canada, will reveal its yearly compilation of data, part of the Juristat, from which much will be inferred that should not or can not. Much will be written that misleads, misinterprets and miscalculates what the numbers tell us. There’s much more that these frail figures do not tell us than what they reveal.
The rate at which Canadians are being murdered dropped in 2013 to its lowest level in 47 years, according to Statistics Canada. Nationally, there were 1.44 victims per 100,000 people in 2013, down eight per cent from 1.56 in 2012 and the lowest rate recorded since 1966. In 2013, 505 people were killed (includes murder, manslaughter, infanticide) in Canada, meaning that a nation of 35 million people had fewer killings than Los Angeles County (population 10 million), which recorded 595 homicides in 2013. The murder rate in the U.S. has generally been about three times higher than the rate in Canada for some time. Canada’s highest murder rate recorded since 1963 was in 1977, when it hit 3.0, according to StatsCan.
There’s a troubling number missing from the latest report from Statistics Canada on criminal victimization. I went looking for the figure because it was there in the last version of the report, in 2004 – it showed that just 8% of all sexual assaults in 2004 were reported to police, a puny 42,000 assaults reported among the total of 512,000 committed. Expressed another way, less than 1 out of every 10 sexual assaults committed was reported to police. It is a pitiful and shameful statistic, a reflection of the fact that despite decades of progress in dealing with sexual abuse and exploitation, authorities have done little to make the process of reporting abuse and confronting abusers less frightening and intimidating. The vast majority of victims still suffer in silence. Statistics Canada refuses to release the figure for 2009 (more on that after the jump). What if things are getting worse? What if they are getting much worse? I’ve produced a disturbing statistic that suggests, if the number is valid, that far fewer sexual assault victims are reporting to police.
Stockwell Day had it right, according to Statistics Canada. The latest victimization survey, released today, shows that 31% of all crimes were reported to police in the survey period, compared to 34% reporting in the last survey five years ago. Day cited the increase in “unreported crime,” as he called it, as a factor in...
In just 3 days we’ll find out if Tory cabinet minister Stockwell Day was fibbing, or perhaps ad-libbing, or perhaps he’s prescient – when he said in August that the amount of crime that Canadians do not report to authorities is increasing. Day trotted out that strange non sequitur during a news conference when he was asked to justify the billions more the Conservatives plan to spend on prisons because of an agenda that will put many more people behind bars for longer periods. In 3 days, Statistics Canada will release a significant report that will reveal how much unreported crime is out there.
Canada’s official crime statistics, the numbers released annually by Statistics Canada, have undergone a historic, but virtually overlooked, transformation. For the first time in nearly 50 years, the stats reflect raw data provided by virtually every police department, meaning StatsCan is able to release a more complete inventory of crimes. In the past, some offences were rolled into broad categories, meaning, for example, that you couldn’t see how many criminal harassment cases came to the attention of investigators – more than 20,000 last year (see the entire list after the jump).
Here’s an interesting contrast. A new Statistics Canada survey reveals that in 2008, there were 3,233 full-time employees working in victim services. There were roughly 65,000 full-time police officers at work in Canada in 2008. It’s a sobering reminder that our emphasis in criminal justice in this country is on catching bad guys. We worry...