Crime, 2011

Crime in Canada has been declining. This trend continued in 2011, as both the volume and severity of crime fell 6% from the previous year. The 2011 drop marked the eighth consecutive decrease in Canada's crime rate and Crime Severity Index (CSI).

The police-reported crime rate, which measures the volume of crime, was 5,756 per 100,000 population in 2011. Canadian police services reported approximately 2 million Criminal Code offences in 2011, almost 110,000 fewer than the year before. Since peaking in 1991, the crime rate has generally been decreasing, and is now at its lowest point since the early 1970s (Chart 1).

Chart 1
Police-reported crime rate, Canada, 1962 to 2011

Description for chart 1

Chart 1 Police-reported crime rate, Canada, 1962 to 2011

Note: Information presented in this graph represents data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Aggregate Survey, and allow for historical comparisons to be made back to 1962. New definitions of crime categories were introduced in 2009 and are only available in the new format back to 1998. As a result, numbers in this graph will not match data released in the new Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey format.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

The CSI, which measures the seriousness of crime, was 77.6 in 2011, its lowest point since 1998 when the CSI began (Chart 2). Since that time, the severity of police-reported crime has decreased in all but one year (2003).

Chart 2
Police-reported Crime Severity Index, Canada, 1998 to 2011

Description for chart 2

Chart 2 Police-reported Crime Severity Index, Canada, 1998 to 2011

Note: The Index has been standardized to a base year of 2006 which is equal to 100.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

Further information

Brennan, S. 2012. "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011." Juristat. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X.

Statistics Canada. No date. Table 252-0051 - Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual. CANSIM. Last updated July 23, 2012.

Statistics Canada. No date. Table 252-0052 - Crime severity index and weighted clearance rates, annual. CANSIM. Last updated July 23, 2012.

Wallace, M., J. Turner, C. Babyak and A. Matarazzo. 2009. Measuring Crime in Canada: Introducing the Crime Severity Index and Improvements to the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-004-X.

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