“Protect Your Property Day” is part of the OACP’s annual crime prevention campaign, which focuses on a broad range of crimes that impact Ontario residents and businesses, including on-line fraud, identification theft and other cybercrimes, auto theft, break-and-enters, bullying, and elder abuse. A new crime prevention booklet is now available to members of the public though the OACP and police services. The booklet contains helpful crime prevention tips and information.
To download OACP’s new booklet – “Crime Prevention. Protect Your Property. Protect Yourself” visit www.oacp.ca
PROPERTY CRIME TRENDS IN CANADA
Police-reported break-ins continue to decline
Break-ins are one of the most serious forms of property crime, and their decrease in 2013 contributed more to the decline of the overall Crime Severity Index (CSI) than any other offence. In 2013, the rate of break-ins in Canada decreased 12%, reaching 445 per 100,000 population. The roughly 156,000 incidents reported by police in 2013 represented a decrease of about 20,000 from 2012. Over the past decade, the rate of police-reported breaking and entering has decreased by half (-51%).
While B&E’s reported are down, cases of fraud and ID fraud are increasing
Cases of identity theft and fraud have increased across Canada from 10,807 in 2012 to 11,594 in 2013 – a 6% increase. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge. Victims may not realize they have been victimized until it is too late, costing them time and money to rectify the damage.
Factors influencing police-reported crime
There are many factors that influence police-reported crime statistics. First, an incident must come to the attention of police. The decision by the public to report criminal incidents to police has a considerable impact on the number of crimes ultimately recorded by police. The 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization, which provides the most recent information on Canadians’ crime reporting behaviour for selected offences, indicated that about one-third (31%) of crimes in the year prior to the survey had been reported to police.
Second, differences between individual police services, such as available resources or departmental priorities, policies and procedures can also have an effect on police-reported crime. For instance, as a crime prevention measure, some police services have implemented initiatives to focus attention on prolific or repeat offenders within the community. Moreover, certain crimes such as impaired driving, prostitution, and drug offences can be notably affected by a police service’s enforcement practices. Some police services may also make greater use of municipal bylaws or provincial statutes to respond to minor offences such as mischief and disturbing the peace.
Thirdly, and more broadly, social and economic factors can influence the volume of crime at a national, regional, municipal or neighbourhood level. In particular, crime rates can be affected by age demographics (Stevens et al. 2013; Carrington 2001), economic conditions (Andresen 2012; Phillips and Land 2012; Pottie-Bunge et al. 2005), neighbourhood characteristics (Livingston et al. 2014; Charron 2011; Savoie 2008), the emergence of new technologies (Wall 2010; Nuth 2008) or by Canadians’ attitudes toward crime and risky behaviour (Ouimet 2004).