A deeper look at the crime stats...
Far worse than we think...
Thanks to some new numbers provided to me by Statistics Canada, I can now report fully on Canada’s crime rate in 2009, much of which I had to estimate or omit in last week’s column on this issue.
Basically, the new statistics bolster the argument I made last week.
That is, while crime rates in Canada are today falling slightly on a year-over-year basis and are down from their historic highs of the early 1990s, they remain alarmingly and stubbornly high compared to the early 1960s, when comparable crime stats first started being kept.
I can now tell you there were 920 violent crimes reported to police per 100,000 population in Canada in 2009.
The good news is that’s a slight drop from the 936 violent crimes reported per 100,000 in 2008.
The bad news is it means our violent crime rate remains more than 300% higher than what it was when comparable statistics first started being kept in 1962.
At that time, our violent crime rate was 221 incidents per 100,000 of population.
That means last year’s violent crime rate of 920 incidents per 100,000 was 316% higher than in 1962.
A similar pattern can be seen for other forms of crime.
The rate of reported property crime fell slightly in 2009 to 2,966 incidents per 100,000 population from 3,088 in 2008, but remains 56% higher than in 1962, when the rate was 1,891 crimes per 100,000 population.
For what Statistics Canada refers to as “other Criminal Code incidents” — things like counterfeiting, weapons violations, child pornography, prostitution, disturbing the peace — the crime rate dropped slightly in 2009 compared to 2008. There were 2,521 incidents per 100,000 population last year compared to 2,592 in 2008.
But again, the 2009 rate was 282% higher than in 1962, when the rate was 659 reported crimes per 100,000.
Finally, Canada’s overall crime rate, which I reported on last week, dropped slightly from 6,615 incidents per 100,000 people in 2008 to 6,406 last year.
But that’s still 131% higher than in 1962, when the reported crime rate was 2,771 crimes per 100,000 people.