Crime in the news

It is always strange to hear when a petty crime reaches the news. The following three examples are useful in illustrating the level of crime in Canada.  It should be noted that I observed these examples personally:

  • On the Canada Broadcasting Corporation’s national TV channel it was reported that a luxury portable toilet was stolen in the Okanagan Valley (located in British Columbia)
  • A few years ago it was reported on national television that a man was charged in Oshawa (just west of Toronto) with having a child on his lap while he was driving. 
  • I watched a TV news channel, CP News (See when I lived in Toronto and it was reported that a handbag was stolen on Kenney Rd.

It is obvious the crime is so low that these ‘crimes’ and ‘offences’ are being reported on national news. On 2 February 2010, it was reported in the Toronto Star that the city’s crime rate dropped by 33 % from 1998 to 2008 (a 10 year period)! It was reported in Juristat (Article Vol 29 No 3, July 2009) that crime in Canada fell to its lowest level in 30 years. In a report of the Fraser Institute it was reported that overall, crime dropped by 15% from 1999 to 2007. The same report developed a Crime Severity Index (CSI) that measures the seriousness of the crime. The CSI dropped by 21 % over the same 8 year period. This seems plausible as many of the reported crimes in Canada are disrupting the peace and loitering (sitting around). Many other statistics can be quoted, but this is a real miracle. I am just thankful that I am Canadian.

The following article, which recently appeared in the Metro Newspaper gives you a sense of how little crime there is in Canada. Even a lawnmower theft was important enough to reach the media! Although true Canadians see this as a terrible crime, some immigrants will see the absence of serious crime as fantastic news.