Crime Rate

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Glacier
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Crime Rate

Post by Glacier »

So as to avoid derailing some other threads, I offer a means in which to delve deeper into this important issue. I'll start off with a couple of common statements.

1) The tough on crime approach does nothing to keep kids out of trouble.

I'm not sure that it keeps kids out of trouble, but one could argue it does mean less crime since Statscan reports Canada has 2.5 million crimes over a population of 34 million people, whereas the US Census Bureau reports 11.8 million crimes over a population of 309 million.

Canada has 7300 crimes per 100,000 People; the US has 3819 crimes per 100,000.

2) Crime rates are at historic lows.

In 1962, Canadians reported 221 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This figure doubled by 1970 to 480, increased to 636 in 1980 and finally peaked at 1,084 in 1992 -a 500% increase in 30 years.


Further reading:
-UN Survey on Crime Trends and Stats Canada : "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2009," Vol. 30, no. 2.
- http://macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/ML ... ew-Web.pdf
Last edited by Glacier on Feb 18th, 2012, 8:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
NAB
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by NAB »

Canada has 7300 crimes per 100,000 People; the US has 3819 crimes per 100,000.


Hmmmmm, now that's a rather startling revelation don't ya think? Maybe we need to seriously "get tough(er) on crime"? The USA seems to be doing something that works better than what we do. I read something the other day about Canadian criminals becoming increasingly reluctant to stick their nose into the USA these days.

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I Think
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by I Think »

Good post Glace, coupla questions tho'

Glacier wrote:1) The tough on crime approach does nothing to keep kids out of trouble.

Your statement above is unsupported, needs to be answered with facts or stats.

I'm not sure that it keeps kids out of trouble, but one could argue it does mean less crime since Statscan reports Canada has 2.5 million crimes over a population of 34 million people, whereas the US Census Bureau reports 11.8 miilion crimes over a population of 309 million.

What are the kids crime rates compared to the adult?

Canada has 7300 crimes per 100,000 People; the US has 3819 crimes per 100,000.

2) Crime rates are at historic lows.

In 1962, Canadians reported 221 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This figure doubled by 1970 to 480, increased to 636 in 1980 and finally peaked at 1,084 in 1992 -a 500% increase in 30 years.

What are the stats since '92? And what are the ratio's of violent crime and the ratio's of non violent crime?

Further reading:
-UN Survey on Crime Trends and Stats Canada : "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2009," Vol. 30, no. 2.
- http://macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/ML ... ew-Web.pdf
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Imagination
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by Imagination »

"In 1962, Canadians reported 221 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This figure doubled by 1970 to 480, increased to 636 in 1980 and finally peaked at 1,084 in 1992 -a 500% increase in 30 years."

Beyond discussion of the punishment, IMO there is one big factor that came into play...Canada changed it's immigration policies (previously being very strict) and in came some folks from some war torn countries who had quite a different way of doing things than we were used to. I knew some police on a major city force who said they had never seen that kind of cold look before as the VN and Asian gangs started to arrive. Now they are major players in a lot of cities and they do not hesitate when it comes to murder. Seems every night in cities like Calgary and Vancouver the news has some story involving the gang element. That just wasn't happening in the 60's and 70's in the same way it is now at all. For the most part, those types of gang members are not deterred at all by any punishment.

As for the other types of crimes...when I grew up there was always this threat called 'reform school' and a 'permanent record' that hung over our heads if we did anything wrong (or so my parents lead me to believe). Now kids seem to know not much is going to happen even with the simplest things when parents and schools have their hands tied and for the more violent it's usually some probation and then a sealed record which probably isn't all that scary.
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Smurf
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by Smurf »

I remember those warnings to. My father actually told me not to even bother calling him if I broke the law and got in trouble. I believe back then we were taught there were consequences for our actions. Today that theory has gone down the drain and it definately shows. From what I see people are loosing a lot of respect for others and their property. When there is no deterent of any consequence there is no reason not to do things. People are going to push the limits and when there are little or no limits (at least enforced to any extent) it becomes a free for all.
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have of changing others.

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Re: Crime Rate

Post by NAB »

Seems to me smurf that "free" for all is a rather common expectation these days ;-) i.e. - if you have something and I don't have the same, I should have some or all of yours, even if I have to steal it. (Or get the Government to steal it and give it to me, after taking their cut of course ;-) )

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steven lloyd
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by steven lloyd »

Glacier wrote: Further reading:
-UN Survey on Crime Trends and Stats Canada : "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2009," Vol. 30, no. 2.
- http://macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/ML ... ew-Web.pdf

conclusions

Based on the analysis of the 2009 Police-reported Crime Statistics Report and reference to preceding years’ reports, a number of conclusions can be reached. These are detailed [follow link and forward to conclusion] and are followed by a series of detailed recommendations intended to increase the relevance and value of the report in the years ahead.

Main flaws in the report:
- The report provides incomplete offender information.
- Some recent format changes are counterproductive.
- Data on incidents of crime are lacking..
- Changes in the categorization of offences are unhelpful.
- Serious violent crime is increasing, contrary to the report’s highlight claims.
- The Crime Severity Index is not a suitable tool for gauging the incidence of crime.
- Youth crime is systematically underreported.
- The report lacks necessary comparative features.
- The role of law enforcement.

Recommendations

The recommendations listed below are offered as a way to increase the value of the information
Statistics Canada presents in its annual report on police-reported crime related statistics.

1. Offender profile. The report should collect and present relevant data on who
is committing what kinds of crimes to enable better determination of how
to prevent them from occurring.
2. Revise most serious incident reporting.
3. Explain unreported crimes.
4. Report unsolved crimes of violence.
5. Report historical data.
6. Report specific crimes.
7. Harmonize offence categories.
8. Identify retroactively altered data.
9. Ensure standardized police reporting and compliance.
10. Review all crime-related Juristat reports to ensure maximized value.
11. Include all “other” criminal offences in reporting
12. Replace the Crime Severity Index with an objective standard.
13. Revise youth crime reporting.
14. Analyse population increases that affect crime rates.
15. Increase involvement of law enforcement in modernizing the collection, analysis, and reporting of crime statistics in Canada.
16. Enact Justice System Accountability Acts.
17. Track other crime-related data.
18. Add data on other federal offences.

Final thoughts

Although the 2009 Police-reported Crime Statistics report contains some useful information,it is defined mostly by what it does not report and the questions it leaves unanswered. This is a situation that has worsened in recent years as a result of methodology and formatting changes introduced by Statistics Canada.
Accurate and relevant crime data are potentially of immense importance operationally and for public policy reforms. But the current report demonstrates that the entire process of collection, analysis, and reporting of crime statistics is in urgent need of law-enforcement-led modernization. Process should serve purpose, not the other way around. It is hoped that the analysis and recommendations in this review will assist that much-needed modernization and serve as a measure of future progress.


http://macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/ML ... ew-Web.pdf

It took me awhile to get through the complete report (thanks for that Glacier) but it certainly was intriguing. Most people are not going to go through the entire report (I did because it is directly related to my work), so I only posted the highlights from the conclusions and recommendations. Obviously, when a research body (such as Stats Can) changes its research and reporting methodology there are going to be problems in trying to draw comparative conclusions. One thing that is made clear by this report, though, is that additional research now needs to be undertaken to see if these new results will be duplicated. I know there are those who believe research is a waste of time and money; however, that time and money spent now can save huge amounts of time and money spent later dealing with undesired consequences. I think we can all agree that our criminal justice system needs an overhaul, but we need to make decisions based on evidence as opposed to opinion or ideology.

While I believe (based on evidence) that some of Harper’s so-called “get tough on crime” proposals are opportunistic agendas based on simple but erroneous fear-mongering (such as mandatory sentencing for people caught growing marijuana plants which will place non-criminal, non-violent persons in institutions with hardened criminals, and Sebastian’s Law which supposedly addresses an issue that can already be addressed under existing legislation and ignores systemic causes), I don’t completely disagree with tougher sentencing in certain situations. Few things frustrate those of us working in the system more than witnessing the waste in time and resources when processing drug users through the Courts and sentencing them to jail or house arrest while repeat violent offenders who beat up their wives or girlfriends get probation. It also gets extremely frustrating when offenders who continually breach the conditions of their Court Orders repeatedly get sentenced to more community sanctions.

I believe (based on my opinion) that first-time offenders sentenced to a community order need to recognize that this is their break, and that if they fail to comply with the conditions of their orders that jail time will be the result (research suggests something like thirty days for the first breach and ninety days to six months for the second depending on the nature of the breach would be most effective). I also believe that violent offenders (especially guys who beat up their wives or girlfriends) should automatically face jail time (to adequately meet the requirements for both specific and general deterrence), and significant jail time for repeat offences.

The real problem is if we keep ignoring the systemic causes of crime and continue to address these issues from the after-the-fact back end (typical right-wing bandaid approach) then we are just going to create another bottomless sinkhole is social spending while having little, if any effect on the incidence of crime. In fact, the most likely scenario is that the incidence of crime will simply increase.
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by Smurf »

From the bit I have looked at and the summary you posted Steven It seems to me they do not think our methods of reporting are all the good. Through the years I have wondered a bit myself. I don't know if they are stupid or just feel we don't need to know too much. The latter I believe. I don't know how they can trully plan anything if they don't have proper concise information to work with. I don't know how someone like yourself Steven can trully make proper decissions if you don't have all the proper facts to draw from. In todays world with computers it should be easy to set up a proper system that would give you any information you need. However poor in + poor out. From what I have seen I believe another problem is everyone reporing differently and different forces not co-operating well with one another. That is one plus to having RCMP throughout the area. At least they get along and should be using the same methods of reporting?????
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have of changing others.

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steven lloyd
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by steven lloyd »

Smurf wrote: I don't know how someone like yourself Steven can truly make proper decisions if you don't have all the proper facts to draw from. In today’s world with computers it should be easy to set up a proper system that would give you any information you need.

Fortunately for me Smurf, it is not my role to develop, set and implement policy at the macro (political) level – but unfortunately for all of us (taxpayers, and especially victims of crime), those who do develop, set and implement policy at that level rarely pay attention to research anyway (especially when they have an ideological agenda) so it could be argued the quality of research doesn’t matter – and that’s a pretty freaking sad commentary. That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss the credibility of all research done by Stats Can as over the years it has proven itself to be both a credible and respected research body. This criticism is rather recent (since Harper government) and mainly points out the weakness in drawing comparisons from research using different methodologies (one wonders why those changes were made). Although other criticisms are made, all research should be critically evaluated and that is one of the strengths of the article Glacier provided us a link for. As I suggested, this article really tells us that we need to do additional research to find out more before we go off half-cocked on some ideological “get tough on crime” program. I agree there needs to be changes made, but I don’t support these hit and miss strategies that everyone gets so excited about. If and when they don’t work, and cause more harm than good, then they just set us back and waste huge amounts of tax dollars and resources.

I am fortunate in my position that the cognitive-behavioural methods I use in my direct work with offenders are highly researched and have proven to be very effective. The challenges, of course, is that individuals do not exist in a vacuum, and once out of an institution or an office the social and systemic challenges (eg. poverty, unemployment, lack of supports, resources and opportunity, dysfunctional families and negative peer associations) that contributed to their deviant and criminal behaviour are still present. We can only do so much, and while we do experience many successes it can often seem a frustrating uphill battle (including our frustrations with the criminal justice and judicial systems). Evidence from research evaluating the impact of those more macro systemic issues helps us to know where to put what extra time we can find into indentifying, developing relationships with and supporting other government and community resources. It also directly helps us to more effectively and accurately evaluate the risk of re-offending.


p.s. In response to your comments about computers, we have access to very powerful shared databases and information sharing systems and networks. That is not usually a problem.
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Smurf
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by Smurf »

I guess I have missed it, read wrong or been misled by the media that there arecommunication problems between force. Some forces not passing on or making public important information. That also could be a thing of the past. Glad to hear it is working well these days.
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have of changing others.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything that comes their way.
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Re: Crime Rate

Post by Glacier »

The CBC was discussing the murder rate on the radio this morning, and pointed out that one reason why homicides have come down is that the medical community has become better at saving victims that would have died had they been attacked even a decade earlier. This is why, according to the discussion, violent assaults have gone up while homicides have come down.

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