Statistics Canada will collect and publish data on unfounded criminal incidents

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April 26, 2017

OTTAWA — Given the policing community’s agreement to reinstate the standardized collection and provision of data on unfounded criminal incidents, Statistics Canada will once again collect and release data on such incidents, including sexual assaults.

Statistics Canada collected data on unfounded sexual assaults beginning in 1962, with the introduction of the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. Over time, inconsistent reporting led to poor data quality. A review conducted in 2006 found that reporting of unfounded incidents was incomplete and Statistics Canada stopped publishing this information.

In April 2017, the Police Information and Statistics Committee (POLIS) of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) recommended the resumption of the collection, analysis and dissemination of criminal unfounded incidents, including sexual assault, by Statistics Canada. The committee further recommended the adoption of a common approach for the classification and reporting of unfounded criminal incidents.The Board of Directors of the CACP endorsed the POLIS recommendations.

As a result, Statistics Canada will provide standards and guidelines to police services to ensure standardized reporting of unfounded incidents to the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. The implementation of these changes will be phased in over time.

In July 2018, Statistics Canada will publish the first set of results on unfounded criminal incidents for 2017, including sexual assaults.  

For more information, contact Media Relations at 613-951-4636 or

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