A spokeswoman for Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews says a recent Statistics Canada report is proof its tough-on-crime agenda is working, despite a rising homicide rate, increased sexual violence against children and a major jump in child-porn offences.
Statistics Canada reported a drop in most crimes – attempted murder, major assaults, sex assaults, robberies and car thefts – but found victimization of children to be growing. The rate of luring a child over the Internet rose 10%. But the most striking statistic was a 40% rise in the rate of child pornography.
“These statistics show that our tough on crime measures are starting to work,” Julie Carmichael told QMI Agency. “Our government is stopping the revolving door of the criminal justice system. The fact of the matter is that when the bad guys are kept in jail longer, they are not out committing crimes and the crime rate will decrease.”
“Fluctuations in the rate of child pornography are likely reflective of the police-based programs and initiatives targeting this particular offence,” the agency said.
Data for the survey are based solely on information “that’s brought to police attention,” Shannon Brennan of Statistics Canada said.
Scott Newark, a former Crown attorney who has written about the skewed nature of the survey, said using only police-reported crimes is part of the problem.
“Two-thirds of crimes surveyed are not reported (to police), according to (Statistics Canada’s) victimization survey,” Newark said.
Statistics Canada’s most recent 2010 victimization report found more than one in four Canadians – 7.4 million people – said they had been victims of crime, with a whopping 69% of them not alerting police. Fully 88% of sex assaults went unreported. More than eight million Canadians said they believed crime increased in their neighbourhoods over the past five years.