Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2013: highlights

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  • The Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the severity of police-reported crime in Canada, decreased for the tenth consecutive year in 2013 falling 9% to 68.7.
  • The police-reported crime rate, which measures the volume of police-reported crime in Canada, continued the downward trend that began in the early 1990s. In 2013, the police-reported crime rate reached 5,190 per 100,000 population, its lowest point since 1969.
  • There were about 1.8 million criminal incidents reported by police in 2013, approximately 132,000 fewer incidents than the previous year.
  • While the incidence of most Criminal Code offences decreased in 2013, police reported increases for the offences of extortion (+32%), counterfeiting (+30%), child pornography (+21%), aggravated sexual assault (level 3) (+9%), sexual violations against children (+6%) and identity fraud (+6%).
  • The decline in both the police-reported CSI and crime rate occurred across most of the country in 2013. The only exceptions were Yukon, where the CSI increased 6% and the crime rate increased 14%, and Newfoundland and Labrador, where the CSI increased 1%.
  • For the first time since 1998, the earliest year the CSI is available, none of Canada’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs) recorded an increase in their CSI. Edmonton, where the CSI remained stable in 2013, was the only CMA that did not report a decrease.
  • The violent CSI fell 10% between 2012 and 2013, driven largely by a decrease in robbery. This drop marked the seventh consecutive decline in the violent CSI.
  • Police reported 505 homicides in 2013, 38 fewer than the previous year. There were also 23 fewer attempted murders in 2013. The homicide rate of 1.44 per 100,000 population was the lowest since 1966, while the attempted murder rate was the lowest recorded since 1971.
  • The non-violent CSI for 2013 was 66.8, 8% lower than the previous year. The decrease was largely the result of fewer reported incidents of breaking and entering, theft of $5,000 or under and mischief.
  • While most drug-related offences decreased between 2012 and 2013, the overall possession of drugs other than cannabis or cocaine increased by 4% and possession of cannabis increased 1%. The majority (67%) of drug-related offences in Canada continued to involve cannabis in 2013.
  • The severity of police-reported crime involving youth accused, as measured by the youth CSI, was down 16% from the previous year and was primarily due to considerable declines in the number of youth accused of robbery and breaking and entering. In contrast, the number of youth accused of homicide increased from 35 in 2012 to 40 in 2013.
  • There were approximately 104,000 youth accused of a Criminal Code offence in 2013, about 22,000 fewer than in 2012. Of the youth accused in 2013, 55% were dealt with through the use of extrajudicial measures, while the remaining 45% were formally charged by police.
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