Crime statistics

1995


Canada's crime rate --- an indicator of public safety --- fell 1% in 1995, its
fourth straight annual drop, following 30 years of almost constant increase.
Many individuals involved in policing have attributed the recent decline in
the crime rate to community-based policing initiatives implemented in most major
police agencies.

Violent crime down for third straight year


The violent crime rate fell by 4% in 1995, the largest annual decline since
the survey began in 1962. This is the third straight annual decrease following
15 consecutive years of increase. The 1995 violent crime rate was still 36%
higher than it was a decade earlier.
Most categories of violent crime dropped in 1995. The rate of minor assaults,
which accounted for 6 in 10 of the almost 300,000 violent crimes, declined by
3%. Over the last two years, sexual assaults have dropped 21%, a trend that was
evident in all provinces.
The homicide rate dropped for the fourth straight year (-3%), reaching its
lowest level since 1969. Robbery was the only violent crime category to show an
increase, up 3%.
There was a general decline in incidents involving the use of firearms in
1995. The number of homicides committed with a firearm decreased by 10% ---
robberies with a firearm dropped by 9% --- and offensive weapons offences, which
mainly involve firearms, dropped by 7%.

Residential break-ins rose slightly


After dropping for three years in a row, the property crime rate stabilized
in 1995, partly due to a slight increase in residential break-ins (+3%).
Break-ins at businesses fell 3%. Break-ins accounted for about a quarter of the
1.6 million property crime incidents in 1995, and thefts, about half.
Motor vehicle thefts remained stable for the second consecutive year, after
a large increase between 1988 and 1993. Police reported over 160,000 stolen
vehicles in 1995, about 450 every day. Almost half of all individuals charged
with motor vehicle thefts were youths aged 12 to 17.

Note to readers

This release focuses on crime data reported by police agencies
across the country. The "crime rate" refers to actual Criminal Code
incidents, excluding traffic offences, per 100,000 population.
Concerns have been raised about the comparability of crime rates
among police agencies which may differ in the mix of urban/suburban
populations and boundaries. In response, this year's report uses the
census metropolitan area (CMA) as the standard geographical unit.

Youth charge rate stable


Overall, the rate for youths aged 12 to 17 charged with crime remained stable
in 1995 following three straight years of decline.
However, the rate of youths charged with violent crimes rose 2%. With the
exception of 1994, the rate of youths charged with violent crimes has been
rising steadily since 1986. The rate of youths charged with property offences
dropped for the fourth straight year.
Youths tend to be charged with proportionately fewer violent offences
compared to adults. Of all youths charged in 1995, 19% were charged with violent
crimes, compared with 29% of adults charged.
Youths were most commonly charged with motor vehicle theft (45% of all
persons charged), arson (44%), break-ins (40%) and robbery (35%).

Crime rate fell in most major metropolitan areas


The overall crime rate fell in five provinces --- British Columbia, Alberta,
Manitoba, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia --- in 1995, with the largest drop
occurring in Manitoba (-6%). It remained stable in Ontario, Quebec and New
Brunswick, and rose in Saskatchewan (+5%) and Prince Edward Island (+2%).
Six of the nine largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs) reported a drop in
their overall crime rate in 1995, with the largest decline (-9%) occurring in
Winnipeg. The crime rate remained stable in Ottawa and Vancouver, while Quebec
reported a small increase (+2%).
Vancouver reported the highest crime rate, followed by Ottawa and Winnipeg.
This was mainly due to significantly higher property crime rates. Quebec
reported the lowest crime rate, followed by Toronto and Montreal.
In terms of violent crimes, Quebec reported the lowest rates for homicide,
assault and sexual assault, while Hamilton was lowest for robbery. Vancouver was
highest for homicide, Winnipeg for robbery, Hamilton for assault and Edmonton
for sexual assault.
For property crimes, Vancouver had the highest rate of break-ins, Toronto,
the lowest. Winnipeg reported the highest rate of motor vehicle theft, Quebec,
the lowest.

Impaired driving charges continued to decline


Certain types of crime, including prostitution, impaired driving and drug
offences, are highly sensitive to levels of police enforcement.
The number of persons charged with impaired driving offences continued to
drop in 1995, down 8%. This was the 12th straight annual decrease.
The rate of prostitution increased notably (+27%) in 1995. This increase,
however, followed a 49% decrease between 1991 and 1994.
The rate of drug incidents increased slightly in 1995, largely due to a 7%
increase in cannabis incidents.

Available on CANSIM: matrix 2198-2200 and tables 140103 and 150202.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Table: Police-reported incidents, by most serious offence
______________________________________________________________________________
1995 1994 to 1995
______________________________________________________________________________

number rate(1) % change in
rate

Violent crime 294,704 995 -4.1
Homicide 586 2 -2.9
Attempted murder 932 3 -0.1
Assaults 230,167 777 -3.9
Sexual assaults 28,216 95 -12.1
Other sexual offences 3,490 12 -9.7
Robbery 30,273 102 3.1
Abduction 1,040 4 -9.0

Property crime 1,550,492 5,237 0.5
Break and enter 390,726 1,320 -0.5
Motor vehicle theft 163,293 552 1.2
Other thefts 861,293 2,909 0.8
Having stolen goods 31,128 105 2.1
Fraud 104,052 351 -0.4

Other Criminal Code
crimes 805,862 2,722 -2.7
Mischief 379,878 1,283 -5.4
Prostitution 7,165 24 27.0
Arson 13,228 45 -3.3
Offensive weapons 17,502 59 -8.5
Other 388,089 1,311 0.1

Total Criminal Code
crimes, excluding
traffic crimes 2,651,058 8,954 -1.0

Impaired driving 101,074 341 -7.3
Other Criminal Code
traffic crimes 71,363 241 -10.4
Drugs 61,660 208 1.3
Other federal statutes 36,033 122 -12.2

Total federal statutes 2,921,188 9,867 -1.6

______________________________________________________________________________


Youths aged
12-17
______________________________________________________________________________

% of total
persons
charged

Violent crime 16
Homicide 13
Attempted murder 11
Assaults 15
Sexual assaults 15
Other sexual offences 16
Robbery 35
Abduction 5

Property crime 30
Break and enter 40
Motor vehicle theft 45
Other thefts 31
Having stolen goods 28
Fraud 7

Other Criminal Code
crimes 19
Mischief 32
Prostitution 3
Arson 44
Offensive weapons 21
Other 16

Total Criminal Code
crimes, excluding
traffic crimes 23

Impaired driving ...
Other Criminal Code
traffic crimes ...
Drugs 12
Other federal statutes 28

Total federal statutes ...

______________________________________________________________________________


(1) Rates are calculated based on 100,000 population.
(...) Figures not applicable.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Table: Crime rates for CMAs(1)
______________________________________________________________________________
Violent crime Property
crime
______________________________ _____________
1995 1994-1995 1995
______________________________________________________________________________

rate % change rate

Population 500,000 and
over
Vancouver 1,300 -1.5 10,073
Ottawa 1,000 -1.8 7,039
Winnipeg 1,198 -7.1 6,668
Edmonton 921 -4.2 5,291
Hamilton 1,141 2.6 5,072
Calgary 741 -11.0 5,397
Montreal 867 -9.7 5,158
Toronto 909 -5.5 4,499
Quebec 579 -3.8 4,120

Population 250,000 to
499,999 (2)
Victoria 1,355 -5.6 7,372
London 962 -7.6 6,673
Halifax 1,156 -6.1 5,499
Windsor 862 -7.4 4,903
St. Catharines--Niagara 656 -8.0 5,277
Hull 689 -5.1 4,614
Kitchener 613 -18.1 4,679

Population 100,000 to
249,999
Regina 1,148 8.9 9,650
Thunder Bay 1,818 -6.5 6,649
Saskatoon 1,236 11.2 6,501
Sudbury 1,133 2.3 5,383
Saint John 831 -9.7 3,618
St. John's 1,327 2.2 3,489
Sherbrooke 409 -10.1 4,381
Trois-Rivieres 515 -0.5 4,122
Chicoutimi--Jonquiere 630 -6.4 3,960

______________________________________________________________________________


Property Total Criminal Code crimes
crime
_____________ ______________________________
1994-1995 1995 1994-1995
______________________________________________________________________________

% change rate % change

Population 500,000 and
over
Vancouver 6.2 14,516 -0.7
Ottawa 3.3 11,008 0.2
Winnipeg -9.7 10,543 -8.7
Edmonton -5.4 8,573 -5.1
Hamilton -0.1 8,544 -1.0
Calgary -7.6 7,889 -7.2
Montreal -3.2 7,776 -3.9
Toronto 0.1 7,452 -2.5
Quebec 1.9 6,082 2.2

Population 250,000 to
499,999 (2)
Victoria -2.4 12,683 -1.6
London 8.0 10,719 1.4
Halifax -4.6 9,198 -8.1
Windsor 3.5 8,550 0.5
St. Catharines--Niagara 2.3 8,340 -1.6
Hull 9.8 7,900 4.9
Kitchener 8.9 7,165 0.8

Population 100,000 to
249,999
Regina 8.6 14,601 11.2
Thunder Bay -6.8 12,633 -7.2
Saskatoon 9.5 10,996 7.7
Sudbury -12.0 9,022 -8.3
Saint John -5.7 6,822 -2.7
St. John's -6.8 6,471 -3.7
Sherbrooke -7.7 6,412 -5.7
Trois-Rivieres -4.6 6,374 -4.9
Chicoutimi--Jonquiere 9.2 5,974 8.0

______________________________________________________________________________


(1) Rates are calculated per 100,000 population.
(2) The Oshawa CMA is excluded from this table due to methodological
concerns with the matching of the police agency jurisdictional
boundaries and the CMA boundaries.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Homicide in Canada
1995

Canada's homicide rate fell for the fourth straight year in 1995, reaching its
lowest point since 1969. Police reported 586 homicides in 1995, 10 fewer than
the previous year.
The 1995 rate of 1.98 homicides per 100,000 people was 3% lower than in 1994,
well below the 1975 peak of 3.02. The homicide rate more than doubled between
1961 and 1975. Since then, despite annual fluctuations, the rate has been
gradually decreasing.
Compared with the United States, Canada's homicide rate is relatively low.
The U.S. rate, according to preliminary 1995 data, was more than four times that
of Canada's. However, Canada's homicide rate is generally higher than many
European nations. The rate for England and Wales, for example, was 30% lower
than Canada's.

Homicide rate declining in most provinces

Most provinces reported a decrease in their homicide rate in 1995; only three
reported minor increases: Quebec, British Columbia and Newfoundland. The
increase in Quebec followed a 26-year low reached in 1994, and was well below
the province's average rate over the last decade. Rates in both British Columbia
and Newfoundland were close to their 10-year average.
In general, homicide rates in the provinces continued to be highest in the
West. For the fourth straight year, British Columbia recorded the highest rate,
followed by Manitoba and Alberta. The homicide rates in both Manitoba and
Saskatchewan were the lowest in nearly 30 years. Prince Edward Island, with one
homicide, recorded the lowest rate, followed by Newfoundland and Ontario.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Table: Homicides by province/territory
1994 and 1995
______________________________________________________________________________
1994 1995
______________________________________________________________________________

number rate per(r) number
100,000
population

Canada 596 2.04 586
Newfoundland 4 0.69 5
Prince Edward Island 1 0.74 1
Nova Scotia 19 2.03 16
New Brunswick 15 1.98 14
Quebec 126 1.73 135
Ontario 192 1.76 181
Manitoba 29 2.57 27
Saskatchewan 24 2.37 21
Alberta 66 2.43 59
British Columbia 113 3.08 120
Yukon 3 10.10 4
Northwest Territories 4 6.18 3

______________________________________________________________________________


1995
______________________________________________________________________________

rate per
100,000
population

Canada 1.98
Newfoundland 0.87
Prince Edward Island 0.73
Nova Scotia 1.71
New Brunswick 1.84
Quebec 1.84
Ontario 1.63
Manitoba 2.37
Saskatchewan 2.07
Alberta 2.15
British Columbia 3.19
Yukon 13.29
Northwest Territories 4.56

______________________________________________________________________________


(r) Revised figures.


The nine largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs) accounted for 48% of
Canada's population, but 54% of homicides. Among these nine, Vancouver reported
the highest rate, followed by Ottawa and Hamilton. Ottawa recorded its highest
rate since CMA data were first produced in 1981, and Hamilton's rate was its
highest since 1983.
Quebec, with four homicides, reported the lowest rate for the second
consecutive year, followed by Toronto and Calgary. Both Quebec and Edmonton
experienced their lowest homicide rates since 1981.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Table: Homicides by CMA
1994 and 1995
______________________________________________________________________________
CMA, 500,000+ 1994 1995
population
______________________________________________________________________________

number rate per(r) number
100,000
population

Toronto 85 2.00 74
Montreal 75 2.27 77
Vancouver 48 2.70 64
Ottawa-Hull 17 1.68 28
Ontario 12 1.58 24
Quebec 5 2.01 4
Edmonton 24 2.72 19
Calgary 18 2.22 17
Quebec 11 1.60 4
Winnipeg 18 2.67 16
Hamilton 13 2.04 17
Total 309 2.20 316

______________________________________________________________________________


CMA, 500,000+ 1995
population
______________________________________________________________________________

rate per
100,000
population

Toronto 1.71
Montreal 2.31
Vancouver 3.50
Ottawa-Hull 2.73
Ontario 3.10
Quebec 1.59
Edmonton 2.15
Calgary 2.05
Quebec 0.58
Winnipeg 2.37
Hamilton 2.65
Total 2.22

______________________________________________________________________________


(r) Revised figures.


Youth-accused homicide rate stable

While the homicide rate for adults has been decreasing over the past decade,
the rate for youths aged 12 to 17 has remained relatively stable. From 1985 to
1994, the youth rate fluctuated between 1.5 and 2.5 homicides per 100,000
youths. While the 1995 rate of 2.7 was higher than average, because of the small
numbers, it is difficult to determine whether this represents the start of a new
trend or if it is simply normal year-to-year fluctuation.
Police reported 65 youths charged with homicide in 1995, 8 more than in the
previous year and the second straight increase. It was the highest number of
youths charged in a single year since 1975.

Shootings account for one-third of all homicides

In 1995, 176 homicides were committed with a firearm, 20 fewer than in 1994,
and the lowest total since 1988. However, homicides account for a relatively
small portion of firearm deaths. The latest figures available (1994) show that
over three-quarters of all firearm deaths were suicides, with homicide
accounting for a further 16%.
Firearms continue to be used in about one in every three homicides. In 1995,
slightly more victims were killed by stabbing (31%) than by shooting (30%). Over
the past decade, the use of handguns has increased, from 7% to 16% of all
homicides, while the use of rifles/shotguns has decreased, from 20% to 10% of
all homicides.

Women six times more likely to be killed by a spouse than by a stranger

Homicides are more likely to be committed by someone known to the victim than
by a stranger. Where an accused was identified, almost half (47%) of victims
were killed by an acquaintance, slightly more than a third (36%) by a spouse or
other family member, and 16% by a stranger (2% unknown). These proportions have
remained relatively constant over the past 10 years.
Spousal homicides continue to account for one out of every six solved
homicides. In 1995, 90 persons were killed by either a current or former spouse---
69 women and 21 men --- up slightly from 85 the previous year. From 1985
through 1994, an average of 110 persons were killed by a spouse each year, with
women representing three-quarters of these victims.
In 1995, women were six times more likely to be killed by a spouse than by
a stranger. Of those women who were in a registered marriage and who were killed
by their spouse, almost one in four were separated at the time of the incident.
Various studies have shown that wives are particularly at risk during the first
two months after separation.

Males account for two-thirds of victims and 9 in 10 accused

Males have consistently comprised the majority of homicide victims as well
as the majority of those accused of committing homicide. In 1995, 67% of
homicide victims were male, as were 87% of accused.
Violence against children is a source of major concern to Canadians. In
total, 52 children under the age of 12 were killed in 1995, compared with an
average of 56 each year since 1985. Of the 52 children killed in 1995, 8 were
infants. This was a large drop from the average of 20 infants killed each year
over the previous decade.