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The Uniform Crime Reporting Survey

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey was developed by Statistics Canada with the co-operation and assistance of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. The survey, which became operational in 1962, collects crime and traffic statistics reported by all police agencies in Canada. UCR survey data reflect reported crime that has been substantiated through police investigation.

Currently, there are two levels of detail collected by the UCR survey:

1. Aggregate UCR Survey

The aggregate UCR survey records the number of criminal incidents reported to the police, and subsequently reported by the police to CCJS. It includes the number of reported offences, actual offences, offences cleared by charge or cleared otherwise, persons charged (by sex and by an adult/youth breakdown) and those not charged. It does not include victim characteristics. The number and rate of motor vehicle thefts in Canada and the provinces presented in this report are based on the results of this survey.

The aggregate UCR survey classifies and tabulates incidents according to the most serious offence in the incident (generally the offence that carries the longest maximum sentence under the Criminal Code). In categorizing incidents, violent offences always take precedence over non-violent offences. As a result, less serious offences are under-represented by the aggregate UCR survey.

2. Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR2) Survey

The incident-based UCR2 survey captures detailed information on individual criminal incidents reported to police, including characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. Police forces convert from the aggregate to the incident-based survey as their records management systems become capable of providing the more detailed level of detail.

In 2002, detailed data were collected from 123 police services in 9 provinces through the UCR2 survey. These data represent 59% of the national volume of reported actual (substantiated) Criminal Code crimes. The incidents contained in the 2002 database were distributed as follows: 41% from Ontario, 29% from Quebec, 11% from Alberta, 5% from British Columbia, 5% from Manitoba, 5% from Saskatchewan, 2% from Nova Scotia, 1% from New Brunswick, and 1% from Newfoundland & Labrador. Other than Ontario and Quebec, the data are primarily from urban police departments. The reader is cautioned that these data are not geographically representative at the national or provincial level. Continuity with the UCR aggregate survey data is maintained by a conversion of the incident-based data to aggregate counts at year-end.

The most recent version of the Incident-based UCR Survey, UCR 2.1, is a subset of Incident-based UCR Survey. There were 62 respondents to this version of this survey in 2002 accounting for 27% of the national volume of crime. Data on stolen vehicle recovery status is from this version of the survey, unless otherwise indicated.

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Date modified: 2006-04-24 Important Notices
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