Violent crime includes any crime that incorporates force such as murder, assault and rape, as well as crimes that include the threat of violence such as robbery, harassment and extortion. The tracking of violent crime is usually done through indicators such as a violent crime rate or violent crime severity index. The violent crime rate is usually measured simply by counting all violent crimes per 1,000 inhabitants. The violent crime severity index is a measure of violent crime weighted by the severity of the crime. This indicator was developed in order to provide a clearer picture of serious crimes in Canada that can be hidden in the standard violent crime rate.
Violent crime has been steadily declining in Canada for some time now with 2014’s violent crime rate of 1,039 being 30 percent lower than the rate in 2000. Violent crime is highest in the territories with Nunavut’s rate, in particular, being over three times higher than the national average.
Crime rates are normally difficult to compare across countries because of differences in reporting rates and definitions of crimes between governments. Murder rates are typically one of the few that are compared as the definition is fairly clear cut. Compared to the United States, Canada’s rate of homicide was almost three times lower for 2019.