Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2012: highlights

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  • Just under 2 million criminal incidents were reported to police in 2012, about 36,000 fewer than in 2011, a decline primarily due to decreases in non-violent crimes.
  • After peaking in 1991, the police-reported crime rate—which measures the volume of criminal incidents reported to police—has generally declined. In 2012, it reached its lowest level since 1972.
  • The Crime Severity Index (CSI), which takes into account the volume and seriousness of police-reported crime, was down for the ninth consecutive year. Both the violent Crime Severity Index and the non-violent Crime Severity Index declined in 2012.
  • In 2012, 543 homicides were reported in Canada, 55 fewer than in 2011. As a result, the homicide rate fell to its lowest level since 1966. However, 11 more attempted murders and 21 more other offences causing death were reported in 2012 than in 2011.
  • The rate for most violent offences was down in 2012 with the largest decreases recorded for major sexual assaults, homicide, robbery, assaults on a peace officer, and indecent or harassing phone calls.
  • Offences causing death other than homicide, as well as extortion, violent firearm offences, and sexual offences against children were among the few violent offences that rose in 2012.
  • The police-reported rates for most non-violent Criminal Code offences were also down in 2012. In contrast, the rates of terrorism-related incidents, identity fraud, and arson rose. The rates for most federal statute violations also rose in 2012.
  • Police-reported youth crime also decreased in 2012. Both the youth accused rate and the youth CSI were down for the third consecutive year.
  • Both the crime rate and the CSI were highest in the territories. Among the provinces, the highest police-reported crime rates and CSIs were generally reported in the Western provinces.
  • Most provinces reported lower crime rates in 2012 than in 2011. Only New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the territories saw increases in their police-reported crime rates and CSIs.
  • Kelowna had the highest police-reported crime rate in 2012, and Regina recorded a higher CSI than any other census metropolitan area (CMA). Toronto recorded the lowest crime rate while Québec recorded the lowest CSI among CMAs.
  • Winnipeg had the highest violent CSI in 2012, followed by Saskatoon and Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay reported the highest homicide rate, followed by Winnipeg.
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