Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Statistics Canada Article on Crime in Rural and Urban Areas

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat features a new article called Police-reported crime in rural and urban areas in the Canadian provinces, 2021.

Among the highlights:

  • In 2021, police services serving a mostly rural population served 15% of the population in the provinces, but reported 24% of violent crimes, 18% of property crimes, 30% of Criminal Code traffic offences and 23% of other Criminal Code violations.
  • The Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and the seriousness of crimes, was 33% higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The gap was even greater for the Violent CSI. 
  • The gap between rural and urban Violent CSIs has widened over the past decade. The gap has especially widened during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Violent CSI increased in rural areas but not in urban areas.
  • Shoplifting and robbery, crimes that are generally more frequent in urban areas than in rural areas, have declined significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversely, crimes in private residences—which are typically more common in rural areas—have increased since the onset of the COVID‑19 pandemic. In addition, intimate partner violence has increased more in rural areas than in urban areas.
  • The higher crime rate in rural areas (7,033 incidents per 100,000 population) than in urban areas (4,919) was because a small number of police services recorded very high crime rates. Conversely, more than one-third (34%) of the rural population lived in a community where the crime rate was below 3,000 incidents per 100,000 population in 2021, compared with one-quarter (25%) of the urban population.
  • Higher crime rates in rural areas were mainly observed in the northern parts of the provinces. In the south, the rural crime rate was lower than or similar to the urban rate in most provinces. 
  • The higher crime rate in rural areas was mainly because of the high number of assaults, mischief and incidents related to disturbing the peace. These common offences were reported approximately two to three times more often by police services serving a predominantly rural population.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:42 pm


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