Survey description

Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey

The Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey collects detailed information on criminal incidents that have come to the attention of, and have been substantiated by, police services in Canada. Information includes characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. In 2019, data from police services covered 99% of the population of Canada.

One incident can involve multiple offences. In order to ensure comparability, counts are presented based on the most serious offence related to the incident as determined by a standard classification rule used by all police services.

Victim age is calculated based on the end date of an incident, as reported by the police. Some victims experience violence over a period of time, sometimes years, all of which may be considered by the police to be part of one continuous incident. Information about the number and dates of individual incidents for these victims of continuous violence is not available.

Given that small counts of victims identified as “gender diverse” may exist, the UCR data available to the public has been recoded to assign these counts to either “female” or “male” in order to ensure the protection of confidentiality and privacy. Victims identified as gender diverse have been assigned to either female or male based on the regional distribution of victims’ gender.

As part of reinstating the collection of information on unfounded incidents, the definition of “founded” and “unfounded” criminal incidents was updated in January 2018 to reflect a more victim-centred approach to recording crimes that accounts for the complexities of certain offences such as sexual assault, family violence and intimate partner violence. While the effective date of the new reporting standards was January 2018, police services transitioned to the new standards at different points throughout the year. Some police services, including all of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachments across Canada and municipal police services in British Columbia, transitioned to the new standards on January 1, 2019. Therefore, part of the overall increase in police-reported crime may be attributed to the implementation of the new reporting standards. For more information, see “Revising the classification of founded and unfounded criminal incidents in the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey” and “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2019.”

Selected police-reported crime statistics: Special COVID-19 report to Statistics Canada

The Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics at Statistics Canada is conducting a special survey collection from a sample of police services across Canada to measure the impact of COVID-19 on selected types of crimes and calls for service. In addition, counts of police responses to infractions of municipal by-laws, or provincial or territorial acts, related to the containment of COVID-19 were requested. The latest release includes findings from March to October 2020 compared with the same period a year earlier.

For the reference period of March to October, 19 police services provided data on a voluntary basis. These included: Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Kennebecasis Regional Police Force, London Police Service, Montréal Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ottawa Police Service, Regina Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Saskatoon Police Service, Sûreté du Québec, Toronto Police Service, Vancouver Police Department, Victoria Police Department, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Winnipeg Police Service and York Regional Police.

Police services that responded to this survey serve more than two-thirds (71%) of the Canadian population. The Edmonton Police Service, Montréal Police Service, RCMP, Sûreté du Québec and Winnipeg Police Service were unable to provide data on calls for service; therefore, police services that provided these data serve one-third (32%) of the Canadian population.

Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces

In 2018, Statistics Canada conducted the first cycle of the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS). The purpose of the survey is to collect information on Canadians’ experiences in public, at work, online and in their intimate partner relationships. Information is also collected on lifetime experiences of physical and sexual violence, and childhood experiences of abuse. The target population for the SSPPS is the Canadian population aged 15 and older, living in the provinces and territories. Canadians residing in institutions are not included.

Homicide Survey

The Homicide Survey collects detailed information on all homicide that has come to the attention of, and have been substantiated by, police services in Canada. Information includes characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. In 2019, the survey went through a comprehensive redesign in order to improve data quality and enhance relevance.

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