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  • In 2006, almost 180,000 youth were implicated in a violation of the Criminal Code (excluding traffic offences).  At 6,885 per 100,000, the youth crime rate in 2006 was up 3% over the previous year, but remained 6% lower than the rate a decade earlier and 25% below the 1991 peak.

  • In 2006, about 6 in 10 youth implicated in an offence did not face charges and were handled outside the formal justice system. The use of charges against youth accused of a crime declined markedly following the introduction of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) in 2003.

  • Since the introduction of the YCJA, the proportion of accused youth who were  cleared by means other than a charge increased for virtually all offences, particularly for youth accused of possession of stolen goods, bail violations, and fraud. Nevertheless, police charges continued to be the norm for offences associated with the most severe penalties, while offences carrying less serious penalties remained  among those least likely to result in charges.

  • The violent crime rate among youth rose 12% over the last decade. Increases in assault rates, the most prevalent type of violent offence for which youth were apprehended, accounted for much of the increase in youth violent crime rates.

  • About 5% of all Criminal Code violations committed by youth  involved a weapon. When a weapon was present in a youth crime, it was most commonly a knife.

  • Crime rates for 'other' Criminal Code offences such as mischief and disturbing the peace rose  between 1997 and 2006, while declines in rates for offences such as theft and break and enter have contributed to the overall drop in property crime rates among youth during this 10-year period.

  • Youth apprehended for drug crimes were mostly involved in cannabis-related offences (84%) and, in 2006, the drug-related offence rate for youth had nearly doubled from 1997.

  • In 2006, about 1 in 10 youth crimes occurred on school property , with assaults being the most prevalent offence (27%), followed by drug-offences (18%). Weapons were present in about 7% of school crimes; less than 1% of all school crimes involved firearms.