Globe and Mail

Crime continues downward trend

Number of cases off 8 per cent from 1994-95 Statistics Canada finds

Friday, December 18, 1998
The Globe and Mail

Crime in Canada continues to decline, mirroring patterns seen in much of the Western world figures from the 1997-98 fiscal year show.

The average jail term, however, appears to be inching upward, and while the number of cases is down, the number of charges per case has risen slightly, as has the requisite court time.

In its newest snapshot of the nation's adult courts, Statistics Canada found an 8-per-cent decline in the number of cases dealt with since 1994-95 - a figure that has steadily dipped in each intervening year.

The figures are incomplete. Aside from young offenders, who accounted for about 23 per cent of all criminal charges laid in 1997-98, the 411,576 adult cases disposed of in 1997-98 exclude any numbers from British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick, as well as data from some Quebec courts. (The 1994-95 figures also exclude these numbers.)

But drawing from the nine jurisdictions that regularly report to Statscan's adult criminal court survey, trends are nonetheless visible in those 411,576 cases, encompassing a total 864,837 charges:

Copyright © 1998 The Globe and Mail