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  • Crime is not necessarily a large urban phenomenon. Looking at 2005 police-reported data, small urban areas were found to have higher overall crime rates than large urban areas. The lowest overall crime rates were found in rural areas.
  • These findings applied to all the provinces and territories except for Quebec and Alberta. In Quebec, the overall crime rate was highest in the large urban areas; in Alberta, the overall crime rate was lowest in large urban areas.
  • In addition to having the highest overall crime rate, small urban areas reported the highest rates for total violent crime, total property crime and breaking and entering. However, these areas reported the lowest homicide rates.
  • Large urban areas reported the highest rates for both robbery and motor vehicle theft. In particular, robbery rates were more than double those of small urban areas and almost 10 times higher than rural areas. Overall violent crime rates, however, were lowest in large urban areas.
  • Rural areas had the highest homicide rate in 2005 as has been the case over the past decade. However, rural areas reported the lowest rates for overall crime, total property crime, robbery and motor vehicle theft.
  • The proportion of homicides committed with a firearm was actually slightly higher in rural areas (39%) than in large urban (35%) and small urban areas (23%). The type of firearm used to commit homicide differed widely between urban and rural areas. While a handgun was the weapon of choice in the large urban areas, a rifle/shotgun was most commonly used in rural areas.
  • The presence of weapons in violent crime in large urban areas was much higher than in small urban and rural areas (data for Quebec and Ontario only). In fact, the presence of a firearm was about two to three times greater in a large urban area than in a small urban or rural area of these provinces.

  • Despite differences in crime rates, residents of the large urban, small urban and rural areas were equally likely, at over 90%, to report feeling satisfied about their safety from crime. However, residents of small urban and rural areas were more likely than the residents of large urban areas to say that the police were doing a good job.