Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stockwell Day On Unreported Crime Stats

As Kady suggests, Stock must have been referencing the 2004 National Victimization Survey, part of the General Social Survey, which is conducted every five years, when he argued this morning that Canada had seen an "alarming" increase in "unreported crime". Forget that the latest report dates from 2004 and tells you nothing about what's happened since. Here's what it says in one of the fact sheets for the General Social Survey. They're referring to "violent crimes":

Police reporting rates remain stable

Rates of reporting violent incidents to the police remained stable between 1999 and 2004. In 1999, 31% of violent incidents were reported to the police, compared with 33% of incidents in 2004. This difference was not statistically significant.

Mind you, when it comes to overall reporting, Stock isn't entirely off his nut:

The GSS reveals that a large proportion of Canadians never reported criminal incidents to police. In all, only about 34% of criminal incidents came to the attention of police in 2004, down from 37% in 1999. Household victimization incidents were most likely to be reported (37%), while thefts of personal property were the least likely (31%).

I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether or not a three per cent drop in reported criminal incidents is "alarming".


Koby said...

Walks with dinosaurs is most certainly off his rocker.

When it comes to crime you count bodies. If there is a spike in crime, but no spike in the number of homicides you can be rest assured that the acts in question have not increased. What happened after 1983 is a great case in point. Crimal code changes that year resulted in a huge increase in the crime rate.

Internationally, the homicide rate is the only thing criminologists have any trust in and they use it as tool to cast doubt on other stats. For example, the fact that Japan records more assaults per capita than Brazil when the homicide rate in Brazil is way higher than in Japan is rightly taken as a sign that Brazilian assault stats, even when definitional differences are taken into account, should be altogether ignorned.

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Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

Is there any sense of irony that the CONSERVATIVE government is quoting questionable "statistics" to support a questionable change in "social policy"?

For the life of me, I can't comprehend how a sane person can rail against gun registration, and then use some muddled statistics (while softening statistic collection) to justify questionable social engineering.

Different team.

Same problem.

"I have an idea, and I don't want to be confronted by the facts."

Shorter: "It sells to the party base - making sense is irrelevant."

家唐銘 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The_Iceman said...

According to Statistics Canada, 90% of sexual assaults in our country are not reported to the police.

Is this not something we should be concerned about?

Shiner said...

Is this not something we should be concerned about?

If it's true, yes. But this has nothing to do with any of the governments get tough on crime policy. Harsher sentencing and new prisons do nothing about unreported crimes.

Unknown said...

While iceman awaits talking points from CRAP central, let me suggest a few:

If we don't start building prisons now we'll won't have anywhere to put them all when we solve the unreported crime problem!

Sex crime victims don't report crimes because they don't want to burden the prison sytem. This will solve the unreported problem!

Rapists will stop when they find out they could be subject more than just a $50 fine, like they were under the Liberals!