Highlights

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  • The 2009 GSS found that the vast majority (93%) of Canadians aged 15 and older living in the Canadian provinces was satisfied with their personal safety from crime, a proportion similar to 2004 (94%), when the previous cycle of the survey was conducted.
  • Self-reported feelings of satisfaction with safety were higher in the eastern part of the country compared to those in western Canada. Residents of Prince Edward Island were among the most satisfied with their personal safety from crime (97%), while residents of British Columbia were among those expressing the lowest levels of satisfaction (89%).
  • Despite higher rates of victimization, younger Canadians were more satisfied with their personal safety from crime than older Canadians. In 2009, 94% of Canadians aged 15 to 24 said they felt very or somewhat satisfied with their personal safety from crime, compared to 90% of Canadians aged 65 or older.
  • Most Canadians felt safe in their neighbourhoods at night. Over 8 in 10 Canadians said that they were not at all worried when home alone in the evening (83%), and 90% said they felt safe when walking alone in their neighbourhood at night. Overall, men were consistently more likely than women to report higher levels of satisfaction with their safety.
  • Just under 4 in 10 (39%) Canadians had used a crime prevention method to protect themselves from crime in the 12 months preceding the survey. The use of crime prevention measures was more common among Canadians who had previously been victimized (57%) than those who had not (32%).
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of Canadians believed that the amount of crime in their neighbourhood was the same compared to 5 years earlier, while one-quarter (26%) felt that it had increased. Fewer than 1 in 10 (6%) Canadians perceived that crime had decreased.
  • About one-quarter (24%) of Canadians felt that issues of social disorder such as vandalism, public intoxication, prostitution or drug use were a very or fairly big problem in their neighbourhood. Residents of Winnipeg, Vancouver and Montreal were among the most likely to say that an issue of social disorder was a problem in their neighbourhood.
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