Where and when youth commit police-reported crimes, 2008

by Andrea Taylor-Butts

Private residences were the most common location for police-reported youth crime
Private residences, outdoor public spaces and schools were the most common locations for police-reported violent offences by youth
Private homes and commercial establishments were the most common places for non-violent youth crimes coming to the attention of police
Outdoor public spaces and schools were the most common locations for illegal drug activity among youth
Older teens more often involved in police-reported crimes occurring in outdoor public spaces, younger adolescents in school crime
Winter months were generally the least likely time of year for youth crime reported by police
Slightly higher proportions of violent youth crime and youth drug violations came to the attention of police during spring and fall
Youth criminal activity reported by police was fairly evenly distributed across the various days of the week
After-school hours were a peak time for police-reported youth crime
The largest proportion of violent youth crime known to police occurred between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Late afternoon the most popular time for non-violent Criminal Code violations by youth
Early afternoon the most frequent time for police-reported drug offences by youth, night-time for youth traffic violations
The time of day for police-reported youth crime tended to vary with age
Summary
Data source
Detailed data tables
References
Notes

In 2008, youth aged 12 to 17 accounted for nearly one-third of all persons accused of a Criminal Code offence by police. In all, about 167,500 youth were accused of a police-reported Criminal Code offence that year, and another 27,600 youth were accused of drug and other federal statute violations.12 While nearly three-quarters of police-reported youth crimes were non-violent violations, more than one-quarter were violent offences against another person, usually another youth.3

To gain a better understanding of the nature of youth crime in Canada (i.e., crimes where the accused was a youth aged 12 to 17), it is useful to consider where and when these crimes occur. The Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2) collects detailed information on police-reported criminal offences. Using information from the 2008 UCR2, this report examines the location4, time of year, day of the week and time of day of crimes committed by youth that come to the attention of police.56

Private residences were the most common location for police-reported youth crime

Nearly one-third (32%) of youth accused of an offence in 2008 were involved in incidents that took place at a private residence, which includes homes and their surrounding property and structures (Chart 1). Commercial establishments, including stores, office buildings, and gas stations, as well as outdoor public spaces such as streets, parks and parking lots each accounted for 23% police-reported youth crime locations.

Just over one-tenth of police-reported youth crime occurred on school property7 (13%). Other non-commercial buildings or institutions8 (excluding primary and secondary schools) such as government buildings, correctional facilities, and social service agencies were the site for about 8% of crimes where the accused was a young person. About 1% of youth crimes were committed in or near a public transportation facility (e.g., bus or bus shelter).9

Chart 1
Nearly 1 in 3 police-reported youth crimes occurred at a private residence, 2008

Description

Chart 1 Nearly 1 in 3 police-reported youth crimes occurred at a private residence, 2008

Note: Excludes 4% of youth crime offences where the location was unknown. Includes youth accused of Criminal Code offences (including traffic), as well as drug and other federal statute violations. Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures). Includes the 4% of accused youth who were under the age of 12.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

Private residences, outdoor public spaces and schools were the most common locations for police-reported violent offences by youth

Police-reported data indicate that more than one-quarter of youth crime in 2008 involved violent offences. In general, violent crimes committed by young people that came to the attention of police occurred in or around private residences (34%) more often than in any other location. Outdoor public spaces (25%), followed closely by schools10 (23%), were the next most common sites for police-reported violent crimes perpetrated by youth (Table 1). This differs notably from police-reported violent crimes committed by adults, 62% of which were committed at a private residence; the next most common location for adult-perpetrated violent crimes was a commercial establishment (15%).

Youth robberies did not follow the overall trend in locations for police-reported violent offences, with 57% occurring in outdoor public spaces compared to 25% of all violent crimes. In addition, a notable proportion (19%) of youth-perpetrated robberies occurred in commercial establishments, such as convenience stores, gas stations and other retail stores (Table 1).

Private homes and commercial establishments were the most common places for non-violent youth crimes coming to the attention of police

According to 2008 police-reported data, nearly three-quarters of youth crimes were non-violent Criminal Code violations. Among youth accused of a non-violent crime, about three-quarters were involved in property-related offences11, such as theft, break and enter and mischief. The remaining quarter were accused of non-violent violations that were not property related, including offences such as possession of weapons, disturbing the peace, obstructing a peace officer, trespassing at night, as well as violations against the administration of justice12.

While private homes (34%) and commercial establishments (32%) were the most common places for non-violent youth crimes known to police, given the vast array of offences included within the category of non-violent youth crime, it is useful to take a closer look at the most common locations for some specific offences (Table 1). For example in 2008, about two-thirds (64%) of police-reported break and enter offences where the accused was a youth occurred in or around a private home, as did about half of motor vehicle thefts (52%) and mischief offences (47%). Shoplifting, in comparison, by its very nature almost always occurred in a commercial establishment (97%).13 

Higher than average proportions of police-reported motor vehicle theft (38%), disturbing the peace (37%) and mischief (22%) involving youth were committed in outdoor public spaces, as were youth possession of weapons violations (43%) (Table 1). Additionally, 23% of youth possession of weapons offences reported by police took place on school property compared to 8% of non-violent offences, in general.

Outdoor public spaces and schools were the most common locations for illegal drug activity among youth

Police-reported data for 2008 indicate that most drug-related crimes by youth took place in outdoor public areas or on school grounds–locations which may be more conducive to the selling and consumption of drugs. Nearly half (45%) of all youth drug crime, the vast majority14 of which involved possession offences, occurred on streets (25%), open areas (11%) and parking lots (9%). Another 31% of police-reported youth drug offences took place on school property; 25% during school hours and 6% after hours (Table 1).15

Older teens more often involved in police-reported crimes occurring in outdoor public spaces, younger adolescents in school crime

Overall, according to 2008 police-reported data, there were no notable variations in where youth crime occurred by the sex of the accused, and while the location of youth crime did not vary greatly according to the age of the accused, some age-related differences were observed (Chart 2). For example, 16- and 17-year-olds (27%) were more often involved in crimes occurring in outdoor public spaces, while youth aged 12 to 13 (21%), were more often involved in police-reported crimes committed on school property. 

Chart 2
Older teens more often involved in crimes committed in outdoor public spaces, 12- to 13-year-olds in school crimes, 2008

Description

Chart 2 Older teens more often involved in crimes committed in outdoor public spaces, 12- to 13-year-olds in school crimes, 2008

Note: Includes youth accused of Criminal Code offences (including traffic), as well as drug and other federal statute violations. Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures). Excludes youth accused in offences where the location of the crime was unknown.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

School property was a more common venue for police-reported crime among younger adolescents than among older teens (Chart 2). For example, among 12-year-olds accused of a crime, the proportion involved in school crimes (21%) was more than double the proportion of 17-year-olds accused of a crime committed on school property (9%). Even when controlling for type of crime, the percentage of police-reported school crime was highest for 12- to 13-year-olds, relative to other age groups. For example, for youth 12 to 13, 16% of mischief offences and 38% of assaults reported by police happened at school, compared to 8% and 18% respectively, for 16- to 17-year-olds.

Conversely, older teens (those aged 16 to 17) were more often accused of crimes that took place on the street, in parking lots and in open areas than were younger adolescents. In particular, one-quarter of 16-year-olds and 29% of 17-year-olds accused of a crime in 2008 were involved in an incident that occurred in an outdoor public space, compared to 17% of both 12- and 13-year-old accused.

Older youth may spend less time on school grounds (i.e., during or just outside of regular hours or during school-sanctioned extracurricular activities) than youth aged 12 to 13, offering some explanation for the lower proportion of school crimes among older teens (Bourn, 2005). Still, some of the age-related variations in the location of youth crime may be associated with age-related differences in the volume and types of crime committed by youth. According to police-reported data, older teens, particularly those aged 16 and 17, committed a larger volume of crime and a wider array of offences than their younger counterparts.16 Thus, older youth were more likely than 12- to 13-year-olds to be accused in crimes such as traffic violations and robbery, offences which occurred in outdoor public space more often than other youth crimes.

Winter months were generally the least likely time of year for youth crime reported by police

In general, police-reported youth crime was fairly evenly distributed across the year, with nearly equal proportions taking place during the spring (March, April, May) (27%), summer (June, July and August) (26%), and fall (September, October, and November) (26%). However, the winter months (December, January, and February), were generally the least likely time of year for youth crime (20%), according to police-reported data.

There were very few inter-provincial and territorial differences in the seasonal patterns of police-reported youth crime. Nevertheless, research suggests that further investigations at the regional, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) or community level may show greater variations in the seasonality of youth crime (Hird and Ruparel, 2007; Cohen, Gorr and Durso, 2003).

Chart 3
Winter the least likely season for most police-reported youth crimes, 2008

Description

Chart 3 Winter the least likely season for most police-reported youth crimes, 2008

Note: Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures). Includes the 4% of accused youth who were under the age of 12. Winter months include December, January, and February; spring, March, April and May; summer, June, July and August; and fall, September, October and November. Based on police-reported incidents of youth crime occurring during the 12-month period from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, exclusively. Excludes a small proportion (1%) of offences that came to the attention of police in 2008, but were committed in a calendar year other than 2008.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

Slightly higher proportions of violent youth crime and youth drug violations came to the attention of police during spring and fall

Some modest seasonal variations in police-reported youth crime are observed when particular categories of offences are considered (Chart 3). Police-reported data for 2008 indicate that violent youth crime was slightly more common during spring (28%) and fall (28%) and less common during summer (22%) and winter (22%). Fall (31%) then spring (27%), were the most common seasons for police-reported drug offences among youth, compared to winter (21%) and summer (21%).

Youth criminal activity reported by police was fairly evenly distributed across the various days of the week

Some research suggests that variations in when youth crimes occur may be related to situational factors such as the presence of structure and social control (i.e., authority figures) or the exposure to peers (Osgood, Wilson, O,Malley, Bachman and Johnson, 1996). Thus, there might be some expectation for youth crime to be more prevalent on weekends when youth have more free or unstructured time, as opposed to weekdays, when most young people are in school. 

Nevertheless, considering all police-reported youth crime, there was generally little variation in the amount of criminal activity by day of the week. In 2008, between 11% and 16% of police-reported youth crimes were committed on any given day of the week. However, looking more closely within the different categories of crime, some offences did tend to occur more frequently on certain days of the week (Chart 4).

Chart 4
Police-reported youth crimes involving violent and drug-related offences most prevalent during weekdays, 2008

Description

Chart 4 Police-reported youth crimes involving violent and drug-related offences most prevalent during weekdays, 2008

Note: Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures). Includes the 4% of accused youth who were under the age of 12. Based on police-reported incidents of youth crime occurring during the 12-month period from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, exclusively. Excludes a small proportion (1%) of offences that came to the attention of police in 2008, but were committed in a calendar year other than 2008.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

According to police-reported data, youth committed violent offences such as physical assault, sexual assault, and robbery with slightly greater frequency on weekdays than on weekends (Table 2). Between 15% and 17% of violent youth crimes reported by police were committed each day on any given weekday in 2008 (Chart 4). In comparison, about 12% of all youth violent crimes took place on a Saturday and 10% on a Sunday. Particularly for police-reported sexual assaults committed by youth, the proportion occurring on a Thursday (19%) was nearly double that on either Saturday (10%) or Sunday (10%). Following Thursday, Friday (17%) was the next most likely day for police-reported sexual assaults by youth (Table 2).

Police-reported drug offences involving youth were more likely to occur on Friday (21%), followed by Thursday (17%), rather than on any other day of the week. Sunday (7%) was the least likely day of the week for drug-related crimes by youth (Chart 4).

Youth accused of Criminal Code traffic violations were most likely to have committed the offence on the weekend. In particular, the number of youth traffic violations on Saturday (27%) was about three times greater than on Monday (9%), Tuesday (11%), Wednesday (10%) or Thursday (9%). Following Saturday, Sunday (19%) and Friday (15%) were the next most likely days for youth Criminal Code traffic offences to occur, according to police-reported data for 2008 (Chart 4).

After-school hours were a peak time for police-reported youth crime

Findings from past research indicate that while the violent crime rates for adults tend to rise throughout the late afternoon and evening, peaking between 9 p.m. and midnight, youth violent crime rates are highest during the hours between the end of the school day and supper-time (Snyder and Sickmund, 2006). Similarly, it has been argued that violent crimes among youth may be more likely to occur during times when they are congregated in relatively large numbers (i.e., during the school hours and hours immediately after the close of the school day), while property and drug-related criminal activity among youth may be more affected by the degree to which their time is structured (i.e., during the school week versus on the weekend) (Jacob and Lefren, 2003; Gottredson and Soulé, 2005).

According to 2008 police-reported data, on weekdays, the level of youth crime generally rises through the early morning and afternoon hours, peaks in the late afternoon, then declines throughout the evening and over-night period (Chart 5). More specifically, the largest number of police-reported youth crimes (20%) occurring on a weekday in 2008 took place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.—the time between the end of the school day and dinner.17 Similarly, on weekends in 2008, the level of youth crime was lowest in the early morning and climbed in the afternoon. However on weekends, the level of police-reported youth crime remained consistent from the late afternoon (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) until the late-night hours (i.e., midnight to 3:00 a.m.) and did not drop until the over-night period, between 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. 

Chart 5
On weekdays youth crime peaks in the late afternoon between the end of the school day and supper-time, 2008

Description

Chart 5 On weekdays youth crime peaks in the late afternoon between the end of the school day and supper-time, 2008

Note: Includes youth accused of Criminal Code offences (including traffic), as well as drug and other federal statute violations. Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures). Based on police-reported incidents of youth crime occurring during the 12-month period from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, exclusively. Includes the 4% of accused youth who were under the age of 12.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

The largest proportion of violent youth crime known to police occurred between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Youth violent crime coming to the attention of police occurred most often in the late afternoon, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. (22%) (Chart 6), which is higher than the proportion of police-reported violent crimes by adults (15%) taking place during the same time period. Further, in 2008, just 7% of police-reported violent offences by youth were committed between midnight and 3 a.m., a time when more than double the proportion of adult violent crime (15%) occurred.

Chart 6
The time-of-day of youth crime varies by type of offence, 2008

Description

Chart 6 The time-of-day of youth crime varies by type of offence, 2008

Note: Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures). Includes the 4% of accused youth who were under the age of 12.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

The peak time for violent youth crime coming to the attention of police differed on weekdays versus weekends. During the week, the largest proportion of violent youth crime took place between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (24%), followed by the hours from noon and 3 p.m. (21%). On weekends, however, violent police-reported youth crime tended to transpire somewhat later in the day, occurring with the greatest frequency in the evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (19%) and from 9 p.m. to midnight (19%).

There were also some differences in the time of day certain types of youth violent crime tended to occur. While the largest number of police-reported sexual assaults and physical assaults took place in the early or late afternoon (i.e., between noon and 3 p.m. or between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.), robberies tended to occur during the late afternoon and evening. The largest proportion (23%) of police-reported robberies by youth took place in the late afternoon (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.), but nearly as many took place in the evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (21%), and in the hours from 9 p.m. to midnight (21%).

Late afternoon the most popular time for non-violent Criminal Code violations by youth

The most popular time for non-violent crimes by youth was late afternoon, according to police-reported data (Chart 6). In 2008, about 20% of non-violent Criminal Code offences by youth coming to the attention of police were committed between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., a figure similar to that of adult offenders (17%). The peak time for non-violent youth crime was the same on weekends as on weekdays. However, on the weekends (15%), nearly double the proportion of non-violent youth crime occurred during the hours between midnight and 3 a.m. as during the week (8%).

The most likely time of day for the commission of non-violent crimes by youth varied somewhat according to the specific offence involved. For example, there was no real peak time for break and enter crimes by youth, according to police-reported data for 2008. The largest proportion (15%) of break and enters involving youth occurred in the early evening. This proportion, however, did not vary greatly from the proportions recorded by police for the other times of the day, which ranged from 11% to 14%.

Police-reported data indicate that the afternoon was the most common time for thefts by youth, with 25% of minor thefts ($5,000 or under) involving a youth accused taking place between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., and 21% between noon and 3 p.m. Arsons involving youth that came to the attention of police tended to happen later in the day, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (23%) and between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (23%). 

In comparison, there was a greater tendency for police-reported mischief and motor vehicle thefts by youth to be committed during the evening and night-time hours. The most common hours for acts of criminal mischief by youth were from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (19%) and during the late evening, from 9 p.m. to midnight (20%). While a notable share of police-reported youth motor vehicle thefts were committed between midnight and 3 a.m. (17%) and from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. (15%), the single most common timeframe for youth motor vehicle thefts was between 6 and 9 o'clock in the morning (19%).

Early afternoon the most frequent time for police-reported drug offences by youth, night-time for youth traffic violations

Overall, early afternoon was when the largest number of police-reported youth drug crimes took place, with nearly one-quarter (24%) of youth drug-related offences committed from noon to 3 p.m. (Chart 6). However, the timing of youth drug crime differed on weekends compared to weekdays. On the weekends, according to police-reported data, a larger proportion of youth drug offences transpired at night, with 26% occurring between 9 p.m. and midnight, and 24% between midnight and 3 a.m. In contrast, daytime hours were the most common time for youth drug crimes to take place during the week (i.e., 21% between 9 a.m. and noon and 27% between noon and 3 p.m.).

Youth traffic violations were typically night-time crimes (Chart 6). On the whole, the largest number (28%) of youth Criminal Code traffic violations recorded by police happened in the hours between midnight and 3 a.m. However on weekends, 37% of youth traffic violation occurred between midnight and 3 a.m. compared to 20% on weekdays.

The time of day for police-reported youth crime tended to vary with age18

Late evening and night-time crime was more prevalent among older teens compared to their younger counterparts. For instance, 25% of 12- to 13-year-olds accused of a crime and 21% of those aged 14 to 15 committed their offences between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., compared to 16% of older teens, aged 16 to 17 (Chart 7).  

Chart 7
Late evening and night-time crimes more prevalent among older teens, 2008

Description

Chart 7 Late evening and night-time crimes more prevalent among older teens, 2008

Note: Includes youth accused of Criminal Code offences (including traffic), as well as drug and other federal statute violations. Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures).
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2).

Older teens, in comparison, were more likely to be involved in police-reported criminal activity later in the evening and at night (e.g., 13% of 16 to 17 year-old accused versus 4% of 12 to 13 year old accused were involved in a crime occurring between midnight and 3 a.m.).

These age-related variations in the timing of youth crime are reflected in the location of the offences. For example, 12- to 13-year-olds were more likely to be involved in police-reported crimes taking place during the school day and in the after-school hours, and were also more likely than older youth to have been involved in crimes that occurred on school property. In contrast, older teens, who were more likely than younger adolescents to have committed an offence during the late evening and night-time hours, were also more frequently involved in police-reported offences taking place in outdoor public spaces; most police-reported youth crime committed in outdoor public spaces occurred during the evening and at night.

Summary

Information on where and when youth commit the crimes coming to attention of police, provide a clearer picture of the nature of youth crime in Canada and may be useful in the development and implementation of crime prevention efforts. Police-reported data from 2008 indicate that, overall, private residences were the most common site for youth crime, but only slightly more so than commercial establishments and outdoor public spaces. The location of youth crime, however, necessarily varied with the type of offence committed. For example, non-violent youth crime, especially property-related offences, took place in commercial establishments more often than other offence types. Violent youth crime and youth drug violations, however, were more likely than other types of youth crime reported by police to occur on school property. Overall, locations of youth crime varied somewhat by age and little by the sex of the accused.

Police-reported youth crime was spread fairly evenly across the spring, summer and fall months, but was generally least likely during the winter months. Similarly, the distribution of most youth crime across the days of the week was relatively uniform, with the exception of Sunday, which was the least likely day for police-reported criminal activity among young people. Youth drug offences, however, peaked on Fridays and Criminal Code traffic violations were notably higher on the weekends, compared to the rest of the week.

According to 2008 police-reported data, youth crime in Canada generally rises over the course of the early morning and afternoon hours, peaks in the late afternoon between the end of the school day and supper-time, then declines throughout the evening and over-night hours. The time of day for police-reported youth criminal activities, however, tended to vary somewhat on weekends versus weekdays, by the type of offence committed and the age of the accused.

Data source

Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey ( UCR 2)–The Incident-based UCR2 Survey captures detailed information on individual criminal incidents reported to police, including characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. Police services switch over from the Aggregate to the Incident-based Survey as their records management systems become capable of providing this level of detail. The 2008 data are based upon information reported by police services covering 98% of the population of Canada.

Detailed data tables

Table 1 Percentage of youth accused of a criminal offence by offence location and type, Canada, 2008

Table 2 Youth accused of selected criminal offences, by day of the week the crime was committed, Canada, 2008

References

Baum, Katrina. 2005. "Juvenile victimization and offending, 1993-2003." Bureau of Justice Statistics: Special Report. U.S. Department of Justice.
www.ojp.usdoj.gov (accessed February 8, 2010).

Bourn, John. 2005. Improving School Attendance in England. National Audit Office.
www.nao.org.uk (accessed April, 16, 2010).

Cohen, Jacqueline, Wilpen Gorr and Christopher Durso. 2007. "Estimations of Crime Seasonality: A Cross-Sectional Extention to Time Series Classical Decomposition." Heinz School Working Paper 200-18. Available at www.heinz.cmu.edu/faculty-and-research/research/research-details/index.aspx?rid=132 (accessed May 20, 2010).

Gottredson, Denise C. and David Soulé. 2005. "The timing of property crime, violent crime, and substance use among juveniles." Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 42(1): 110-120. 
http://jrc.sagepub.com (accessed November 23, 2009).

Hird, Celia and Chandni Ruparel. "Seasonality in recorded crime: Preliminary findings." Home Office Online Report 02/07. Available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds (accessed May 20, 2010).

Jacob, B. A. and L. Lefgren. 2003. "Are idle hands the devil's workshop? Incapacitation, concentration and juvenile crime." American Economic Review 93(5): 1560-1577.

Osgood, D.W., J. K.Wilson, P. M. O'Malley, J. G. Bachman, and L. D. Johnson. 1996. "Routine Activities and Deviant Behavior." American Sociological Review 61:635-55.

Snyder, Howard N. and Melissa Sickmund. 2006. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. National Center for Juvenile Justice.
www.ojp.usdoj.gov (accessed February 9, 2010).

Notes

  1. Includes a small number of youth under the age of 12. In 2008, youth under the age of 12 constituted about 4% of all youth accused of a police-reported Criminal Code, drug, and other federal statute violations.
  2. Youth crime figures represent the number of times a youth has been accused of a crime. Accused youth includes youth cleared by charge and youth cleared otherwise (e.g. application of extrajudicial measures).
  3. About 6 in 10 victims of a youth crime were children or youth under the age of 18. Individuals within the age ranges of 18 to 24, 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 each made-up about one-tenth of youth crime victims and victims aged 45 and over constituted the remaining tenth.
  4. Location describes the type of place where the incident occurred. In cases of administration of justice violations (e.g., failure to comply with an order, breach of probation, escape custody and prisoner unlawfully at large), location may refer to the place where the accused was apprehended.
  5. Unless otherwise stated, overall youth crime figures used in this report include violent and non-violent youth Criminal Code offences, youth drug and other federal statute violations as well as youth Criminal Code traffic violations.
  6. A detailed examination of the location of youth Criminal Code traffic violations is not presented since the vast majority (86%) of youth Criminal Code traffic violations took place in outdoor spaces (see Table 1). However, a small percentage of offences occurred in other locations such as private residences (including driveways) and commercial establishments (including places such as underground parking garages, gas stations and convenience stores).
  7. School property includes junior kindergarten through to grade 13 schools or equivalent where the main purpose is to provide education to children. Includes all structures upon the school ground including school parking lot, playground etc.  Incidents that occur during or just outside of regular school hours or during a school sanctioned extracurricular activity are included as are criminal incidents that occur obviously outside of regular school hours and outside of a school sanctioned extracurricular activity.
  8. Non-commercial buildings or institutions include institutions or buildings providing non-profit services to the public or acting on the public's behalf; those conducting business or providing a service to the public; and institutions or buildings where the main purpose is to provide adult education (e.g., includes government buildings, city hall, hospitals, churches, correctional facilities, police headquarters or jails, community centres, halfway houses, social service agencies, customs offices, colleges, universities, and business schools).
  9. For 4% of youth crime the location was unknown.
  10. Most violent youth crimes committed on school property that came to the attention of police in 2008 took place during supervised school activities (18%) rather than outside school hours and events (5%). 
  11. Includes the following property crimes: arson, break and enter, theft over $5,000, theft of $5,000 or under, motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen goods, fraud, and mischief.
  12. Includes offences such as failure to comply with an order, breach of probation, failure to appear, escape custody and prisoner unlawfully at large; among youth accused in non-violent, non-property crimes, more than half (58%) were involved in offences against the administration of justice.
  13. Location can refer to the place were the accused was apprehended and thus, a small proportion of shoplifting violations were recorded as occurring in places such as parking lots (1%); outdoor public spaces (1%); and non-commercial buildings and institutions (1%).
  14. Among youth accused of drug-related violations, about 85% were involved in possession offences.
  15. The presence of staff and other students may increase the likelihood of detection and police involvement for drug-related crimes committed on school grounds.
  16. In 2008, 16 to 17 year-olds accounted for half of those involved in police-reported youth crime, versus 14% for 12 to 13 year-olds, and had an overall crime rate (11,663 per 100,000 population) that was triple the rate for youth aged 12 to 13 (3,481 per 100,000 population). Moreover, while mischief, assault level 1, shoplifting, break and enter and theft of $5,000 or less were all among the most commonly committed crimes for youth from 12 to 17, as a whole, these five offences represented over half (62%) of youth crimes among accused aged 12 to 13 and 14 to 15 years olds (51%), but accounted for just 43% of offences by older youth.
  17. Police-reported data indicated that 79% of violent youth crime committed on school property in 2008 occurred during school hours, just outside of school hours or during school sanctioned extra-curricular activities. During school hours or supervised activities, the presence of staff and other students means more potential witnesses, and with many schools employing 'zero tolerance' policies with respect to violence, crimes that occur during school hours may have a greater likelihood of coming to the attention of police than offences committed outside of school hours.
  18. There were no notable variations by the sex of the accused.