Canada Year Book


    Past issues

    Historical collection

    Knives most common weapon in violent crime

    Warning View the most recent version.

    Archived information

    Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact-us" to request a format other than those available.

    Most crimes in Canada do not involve violence. When they do, most are committed with physical force or threats (76%) rather than a weapon (18%). When a weapon is used, a knife is the most common choice.

    Half of those accused of violent crimes with a knife in 2008 were young people aged 12 to 24.

     In 2008, police reported 23,500 victims of violent crime committed with a knife or another piercing or cutting instrument. That number represents 6% of all victims of violent crime. Violent crimes involving a club or blunt instrument accounted for 3%, and a firearm, 2%.

    The rate of violent crime committed with a knife has remained stable since 1999. While the number of such crimes is low, they are most often homicides and attempted murders—approximately 1 out of 3 in 2008.

    Knife-related violence was highest in the Prairie provinces, particularly in the cities of Winnipeg, Regina and Edmonton.

    Chart 7.2 Violent crime committed with knives, by province and territory, 2008
    View data source for chart 7.2

    Date modified: