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Ontario: Crime Severity Index

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Geography:Ontario
Account:Community Safety and Social Vitality
Information:Crime Severity Index
Years: 2010 to 2015
Data Source:Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Copyright:Newfoundland & Labrador Statistics Agency, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Overall Crime Severity Index includes all Criminal Code and federal statute offences.

The Violent Crime Severity Index includes all violent offences.

The Non-violent Crime Severity Index includes everything that does not fall into the category of violent offences.

If a jurisdiction has a high proportion of less serious, lower weighted offences it will have a lower index value.  Equally, a jurisdiction with a high proportion of more serious crimes will have a higher index value.

The principle behind the Crime Severity Index was to have more serious crimes carry a higher weight than less serious crimes and therefore changes in more serious crimes would have a greater impact on the Index than the traditional crime rate.  The Crime Severity Index includes all reported crimes, unlike the traditional crime rate which excludes traffic, drug offences and Federal Statutes.

To calculate the Crime Severity Index, the number of police-reported incidents for each offence is multiplied by the weight for that offence.  All weighted offences are then added together and divided by the corresponding population total.  The Index is then standardized to "100" for Canada (a system that is similar to the Consumer Price Index), using 2006 as a base year.

For more information on the Crime Severity Index, please click here.

Year-over-year comparisons should be made with caution as many non-criminally related factors can affect data from one year to another (openings, closures or reorganizations of police departments, redistribution of municipalities serviced among different police departments, significant population increases etc.).

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey produces a continuous historical record of crime and traffic statistics reported by every police agency in Canada since 1962.  In 1988, a new version of the survey was created, UCR2, and is since referred to as the "incident-based" survey, in which microdata on characteristics of incidents, victims and accused are captured.  For more information please click here.

Statistics Canada information is used with the permission of Statistics Canada.  Users are forbidden to copy the data and redisseminate them, in an original or modified form, for commercial purposes, without the expressed permission of Statistics Canada.  Information on the availability of the wide range of data from Statistics Canada can be obtained from Statistics Canada's Regional Offices, it's Web site at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/  and it's toll-free access number 1-800-263-1136.

a The youth crime severity index is only available for provinces, territories and Canada.

b The clearance rate is a measure of the proportion of crimes that are cleared (solved) by the police. An incident is usually considered cleared if the police are able to lay a charge against an individual, but there are other means as well such as referral to a program, warning or citation (in the case of minor offenses) or if the complainant decides not to press charges. The weighted clearance rate takes into consideration the seriousness of the crimes. For example, we would be more concerned with the ability of a police force to solve a murder than a graffiti case. Therefore serious crimes would be assigned higher weights in the rate calculation.

Non-violent Crime Severity Index
The non-violent crime severity index includes all non-violent Criminal Code violations including traffic, as well as drug violations and all Federal Statutes.
Violent Crime Severity Index
The violent crime severity index includes all Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2) violent violations, some of which were nort previously included in the aggregate violent crime category, including uttering threats, criminal harassment and forcible confinement.
Crime Severity Index
The Crime Severity Index tracks changes in the severity of police-reported crime by accounting for both the amount of crime reported by police in a given jurisdiction and the relative seriousness of these crimes.  It tells us not only how much crime is coming to the attention of police, but also about the seriousness of that crime.

The index is calculated by assigning each type of offence a seriousness "weight". The weights are derived from actual sentences handed down by courts in all provinces and territories.  More serious crimes are assigned higher weights, less serious offences lower weights.  As a result, changes in more serious crimes would have a greater impact on the Index than on the traditional crime rate.

The Crime Severity Index includes all Criminal Code Violations including traffic, as well as drug violations and all Federal Statutes.

For more information on the Crime Severity Index, please click here.

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 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015         

Crime Severity Index65.6 61.2 59.0 52.4 49.7 50.6
Percent Change in Crime Severity Index-5.4% -6.7% -3.6% -11.1% -5.2% 1.9%
 
Violent Crime Severity Index77.9 72.7 69.9 61.7 57.6 59.2
Percent Change in Violent Crime Severity Index-4.9% -6.7% -3.8% -11.7% -6.7% 2.8%
 
Non-Violent Crime Severity Index60.9 56.8 54.8 48.9 46.7 47.4
Percent Change in Non-Violent Crime Severity Index-5.6% -6.6% -3.5% -10.8% -4.5% 1.4%
 
Youth Crime Severity Indexa81.0 73.8 67.3 53.6 51.1 50.3
Percent change in youth crime severity index-7.5% -8.9% -8.8% -20.4% -4.6% -1.7%
 
Weighted clearance rate (number)b42.3 43.0 43.3 43.7 43.1 42.8
Percent change in weighted clearance rate0.6% 1.8% 0.7% 0.9% -1.4% -0.9%

Notes:

The Overall Crime Severity Index includes all Criminal Code and federal statute offences.

The Violent Crime Severity Index includes all violent offences.

The Non-violent Crime Severity Index includes everything that does not fall into the category of violent offences.

If a jurisdiction has a high proportion of less serious, lower weighted offences it will have a lower index value.  Equally, a jurisdiction with a high proportion of more serious crimes will have a higher index value.

The principle behind the Crime Severity Index was to have more serious crimes carry a higher weight than less serious crimes and therefore changes in more serious crimes would have a greater impact on the Index than the traditional crime rate.  The Crime Severity Index includes all reported crimes, unlike the traditional crime rate which excludes traffic, drug offences and Federal Statutes.

To calculate the Crime Severity Index, the number of police-reported incidents for each offence is multiplied by the weight for that offence.  All weighted offences are then added together and divided by the corresponding population total.  The Index is then standardized to "100" for Canada (a system that is similar to the Consumer Price Index), using 2006 as a base year.

For more information on the Crime Severity Index, please click here.

Year-over-year comparisons should be made with caution as many non-criminally related factors can affect data from one year to another (openings, closures or reorganizations of police departments, redistribution of municipalities serviced among different police departments, significant population increases etc.).

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey produces a continuous historical record of crime and traffic statistics reported by every police agency in Canada since 1962.  In 1988, a new version of the survey was created, UCR2, and is since referred to as the "incident-based" survey, in which microdata on characteristics of incidents, victims and accused are captured.  For more information please click here.

Statistics Canada information is used with the permission of Statistics Canada.  Users are forbidden to copy the data and redisseminate them, in an original or modified form, for commercial purposes, without the expressed permission of Statistics Canada.  Information on the availability of the wide range of data from Statistics Canada can be obtained from Statistics Canada's Regional Offices, it's Web site at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/  and it's toll-free access number 1-800-263-1136.

a The youth crime severity index is only available for provinces, territories and Canada.

b The clearance rate is a measure of the proportion of crimes that are cleared (solved) by the police. An incident is usually considered cleared if the police are able to lay a charge against an individual, but there are other means as well such as referral to a program, warning or citation (in the case of minor offenses) or if the complainant decides not to press charges. The weighted clearance rate takes into consideration the seriousness of the crimes. For example, we would be more concerned with the ability of a police force to solve a murder than a graffiti case. Therefore serious crimes would be assigned higher weights in the rate calculation.

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

Copyright: Newfoundland & Labrador Statistics Agency
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Data last updated on August 21, 2017

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