In this section of the Annual Report we review statistics in the following areas: Police Use of Force, Road Safety, and Crime. For more information on how crime is measured in Canada, the summary below provides more information.
Measuring Crime: The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey, conducted by Statistics Canada since 1962, is based on nationally defined police-reported crime. Every police service across Canada is mandated to submit UCR data to Statistics Canada. Due to the length of investigations, follow-up, evidence processing, and the complexity of crime, police services are given until March 31st each year to submit their year-end UCR statistics. Statistics Canada then runs a variety of verification processes, and their tables and reports for the previous year’s crime statistics begin to be published near the end of July.
Statistics Canada’s crime and justice information includes police-reported crime rates, Crime Severity Index (CSI), violent and non-violent CSI, clearance and weighted clearance rates for provinces, census metropolitan areas and municipal police services across Canada. Check their main webpage www.statcan.gc.ca for the latest reports and data available in their CANSIM tables at www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/.
Crime has many consequences, not only for its victims and their relatives and friends, but also for society as a whole. All levels of government devote many resources to provide policing, court, correctional, and victim services. There are benefits to measuring crime. How we measure crime is complex and comes in many forms. A criminal incident may consist of one or more related offences that are committed during a single event and are reported to and substantiated by police. Violent criminal incidents are counted separately for each victim. Statistics may be reported based on when the crime occurred or when it was reported. Different counting methods will also lead to different end-results.
Statistics Canada counts the Most Serious Violation (MSV). The MSV methodology considers only the most serious offence in an incident. MSV count is used by Statistics Canada to allow for better comparison among police services across Canada and for historical comparison. Crime data is only representative of what is reported to police. There are many factors which may influence police-reported crime such as: our community’s willingness to report, available police resources, police service priorities, crime prevention measures, targeted enforcement practices, and increasingly other avenues of reporting crime that do not get relayed to the police.