Canada

Violent crime in 15-year decline: report

Violent crime has steadily declined in Canada over 15 years, says a new report.

Violent crime has steadily declined in Canada over 15 years, says a new report.

A report entitled Canada's Vital Signs 2009 from the Community Foundations of Canada says there was an average of 932 incidents of violent crime per population of 100,000 in 2008.

The report's figures show a 12 per cent overall decline in crime since 1991.

The Vital Signs annual report, released Tuesday, compiles statistics on a variety of subjects in an attempt to demonstrate the health and well-being of communities across the country. Its figures are based on research collected from community foundations in 16 participating communities.

The report says the largest declines have been in violent crimes, such as homicide, attempted murder, assault, sexual offences, abduction and robbery.

Since 1991, homicides have dropped 32 per cent, sexual offences by 36.4 per cent and abductions by 64.5 per cent, according to the report.

Assault and robbery still accounted for about 98.5 per cent of all violent crime in Canada last year, the report says.

Guelph-Wellington, Ottawa and Kitchener — all communities in Ontario — had the lowest rates of violent crime per 100,000 people. All three communities reported fewer than 600 incidents in 2008.

With the exception of Kelowna, B.C., and Saint John, all communities that participated in the survey showed less violent crime.

Kelowna had the highest rate of violent crime among the 16 communities, at 1,532 incidents per population of 100,000. Saint John had 1,463 incidents of violent crime per population of 100,000.

With files from The Canadian Press

now