Defining and Measuring Crime 20140123
Is Crime in Canada on the rise?
What “counts” when we’re counting crime?
Statistics Canada uses statistics (policerecorded crime rates) AND personal experiences (victimization
Reliability & Validity
Reliability: The consistency of results over time; i.e., would the methods & techniques used for data
collection produce the same results again and again?
Validity: The extent to which the survey instrument (e.g., questionnaire, interview guide) actually measures
what it is intended to measure.
Knowing the extent of crime: Statistics Canada
Concerning crimes, Statistics Canada collects & analyzes:
Official, policerecorded crime rates
Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR)
Data form the General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization every 5 years
Advantages of official crime statistics (UCR)
Based on Criminal Code definitions
Based on physical evidence & witnesses
Allows for comparisons Between cities
Between provinces & territories
Limitations of official crime statistics (UCR data)
Subject to the resources of individual police departments
Subject to changes in legal definitions of crime
Does not capture crimes that are not reported to the police