07-24-2012, 08:38 PM
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Canada’s crime rate at lowest level since 1972
Always good to hear eh?
Source: Canada?s crime rate at lowest level since 1972 - The Globe and Mail
The amount of crime, including violent offences, reported by Canadians dropped by 6 per cent last year, falling to the lowest level since 1972, though there were increases in homicides, some crimes against children and cannabis possession.
Numbers released Tuesday by Statistics Canada show that the “crime severity index,” a way of weighting offences, was down by 26 per cent in 2011 compared to a decade earlier.
The report comes against a backdrop of concern over shootings in the country’s biggest city, with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford planning to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper later Tuesday to discuss gang violence. The city was among the safest in the country, according to the report’s 2011 numbers.
In response to the report, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews pointed to the decline from 2010 to 2011 as evidence that his party’s “tough on crime is working.” But he added in a tweet that the crime rate was “still 208% above 1962 levels, more work for our gov’t to do.”
The country’s most crime-blighted cities were once again in the west. Regina topped the table for the 14th straight year, followed by Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. But even among the worst cities, crime was down in nine of the bottom 10, with Winnipeg the sole exception.
The safest city was Guelph, in spite of a local increase in crime , followed by Quebec City, Toronto and Ottawa. Of the 10 safest, only Guelph and the Quebec community of Sherbrooke had increased crime, compared to 2010.
The annual report from the federal agency counts only those crimes reported to police, leading critics to say that it paints an incomplete picture. Also, changing social attitudes can lead to more reporting of some types of crimes, making it appear there is an increase.
Nationwide, Statistics Canada’s report show that the number of homicides rose by 7 per cent in 2011, compared to the previous year, driven by increases in Alberta and Quebec. But the report noted that, “despite annual fluctuations, the homicide rate has generally been declining since peaking in the mid-1970s.”
There was a 3-per-cent rise in 2011 in the broad category known as “sexual violations against children,” compared to the previous year. This was driven by substantial rises in reported incidents of luring a child via a computer and invitation to sexual touching increased, up 10 and 8 per cent, respectively. The rate of sexual interference remained stable, while the rate of sexual exploitation dropped by 7 per cent.
Police reported a jump of 40 per cent in incidents of child pornography in 2011, compared to 2010. This was the largest increase of any offence, Statistics Canada notes, adding that fluctuations in the rate of child pornography are “likely reflective of police-based programs and initiatives targeting this particular offence.”
Also up dramatically were some drug offences. The overall number figure didn’t change much, climbing 3 per cent, but that masked bigger jumps within sub-categories.
Trafficking of cannabis was down 11 per cent while possession charges were up 7 per cent. Cocaine trafficking was up 3 per cent, although the number of possession incidents didn’t change. Trafficking of “other drugs” was up 1 per cent, with possession rising 5 per cent.
The latest figures show that youth crime continues to decline, perhaps no surprise in an aging country, and the number of females committing crimes keeps rising. The rate of females charged with violent crime has risen 34 per cent since 1991, even as the rate of men charged in such crimes has declined by 32 per cent.
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