Bomb squads in Canada have reported dealing with nearly a thousand incidents of criminal use of explosives in the last five years, from bombs and improvised explosives to hoax devices.

Data from the RCMP’s Canadian Bomb Data Centre shows 982 incidents involving explosives between 2008 and 2012, including 185 last year. Over the five-year period, there were seven related deaths — including four last year — and another 17 injuries.

There were a total of 99 bombings and 25 attempted bombings, 162 improvised explosive devices were recovered and reports of 187 hoax devices between 2008 and 2012.

There were also 13 accidental explosions recorded in the five-year period.

The Canadian Bomb Data Centre's policing expertise is on detecting and disposing of explosives, and investigating post-blast scenes. Because it collects records from Canadian police services that provide statistics on a voluntary basis, the data does not necessarily reflect all of the incidents that occurred in a given year. An estimated 60 per cent of incidents are reported.

"Although there is no mandatory requirement or obligation on the part of police services to report their statistics, continued annual reporting is encouraged and appreciated by the CBDC in order to accurately reflect the number of explosives-related incidents in Canada," according to the RCMP’s website.