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Trends in offences against the administration of justice, 2014

Released: 2015-10-15

Police reported 171,897 incidents of administration of justice offences in 2014, a rate of 484 incidents per 100,000 population.

Administration of justice offences include Criminal Code violations such as failure to comply with conditions, to comply with an order, to appear in court and breach of probation. In 2014, about 1 in 10 Criminal Code (excluding traffic) police-reported offences was an offence against the administration of justice.

Between 2004 and 2014, the rate of police-reported offences against the administration of justice declined by 7%. Over the same time period, there was a 34% decline in the overall crime rate.

While not all administration of justice offences resulted in charges being laid against an accused, the rate of persons charged increased 8% between 2004 and 2014. Of note, the rate of women charged with administration of justice offences (+21%) increased at more than twice that figure between 2004 and 2014.

Failure to comply with conditions imposed by the court was the most commonly reported offence against the administration of justice in 2014, accounting for more than half (57%) of all reported incidents of administration of justice offences. Failure to comply with conditions includes infractions such as violating a no-contact order and failing to attend court-mandated programs, such as addictions counselling or victim impact education programs.

As was the case nationally, in most provinces offences against the administration of justice represented about one-tenth of overall police-reported crime. However, there were three notable exceptions to this, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia. Saskatchewan reported the largest proportion of offences against the administration of justice, with almost one-fifth (19%) of all reported incidents falling into this category. Meanwhile, in Prince Edward Island and British Columbia, less than 1 out of 18 police-reported incidents of crime (just over 5%) constituted an offence against the administration of justice.

Adult criminal courts in Canada completed 360,640 cases in 2013/2014, of which 39% included at least one offence against the administration of justice among the charges.

Cases involving an offence against the administration of justice resulted in a guilty verdict more often than other cases. More than three-quarters (76%) of completed court cases that included at least one administration of justice offence resulted in a guilty verdict in 2013/2014, compared with a guilty verdict for 55% of completed cases that did not include any administration of justice offences.

Second to decisions of guilt, stayed or withdrawn (21%) was the other most common finding that resulted from completed cases that included offences against the administration of justice in 2013/2014.

  Note to readers

Administration of justice offences include the Criminal Code violations of failure to comply with conditions, escape or help escape from custody, prisoner unlawfully at large, failure to appear, breach of probation and other offences against the administration of justice (for example, impersonating a peace officer).

Police-reported data captured by the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey include those incidents of offences against the administration of justice that were reported to Statistics Canada as the most serious violation associated with an incident (approximately 75% of all administration of justice offences reported by police). The extent to which police are involved in charging those accused of this kind of crime varies across provinces and territories and these differences can affect the statistics presented in this report. Differences in how police services report incidents of administration of justice violations to Statistics Canada also exist.

Adult criminal courts data include all cases where an administration of justice offence was among the charges in cases completed by all provincial/territorial courts in every province and territory reporting to the Integrated Criminal Court Survey. Information from superior courts in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as municipal courts in Quebec were not available, resulting in the possibility of a slight underestimation of the severity of sentences.

Products

The Juristat article "Trends in offences against the administration of justice" (Catalogue number85-002-X), is now available. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and justice, and Juristat.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@canada.ca).

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