Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Spatial distribution of crime

Traditionally, crime data in Canada have been analysed and released at the national, provincial and census metropolitan area (CMA) levels. Crime rates typically vary from east to west in the country, with the Eastern provinces recording the lowest crime rates, and the Western provinces, the highest rates. [Full text]

Risk factors

Numerous studies have documented the relationship between neighbourhood characteristics and crime rates. However, these studies have differed with respect to the importance they placed on factors such as low income, residential mobility, ethnocultural composition, opportunities for criminal behaviour, collective efficacy (or the level of trust and reciprocity in a neighbourhood), and social disorganization (or a decrease in the influence of social rules over behaviour) (Shaw and McKay 1942; Cohen and Felson 1979; Brantingham and Brantingham 1982; Ronek and Maier 1991; Sampson and Lauritsen 1994; Sampson et al. 1997). [Full text]

Thematic issues

To complement the crime diagnostics, a number of additional issues were addressed in exploratory analyses. In some cases, these analyses highlighted the importance of using a variety of approaches to prevent crime, while in others cases, they illustrated the limitations of the available data. [Full text]


On one hand, this series on the spatial analysis of crime highlights the fact that the spatial organization of crime must be viewed as the result, at a given moment in time, of the slow and complex process of urban development. Moreover, it underlines the importance of the social networks (social capital) developed and maintained by neighbourhood residents. [Full text]