Social Challenges

Rates of crime and victimization fluctuate over time. According to police records, there were significant decreases in crime rates in Canada during the 1990s, but the present risk of victimization is now more than double that of the 1960s.1

Certain social trends and demographic patterns continually influence the rates of crime and victimization in Canada. Changes in the age distribution of the population, expansions of urban areas, increases in child poverty, restricted accessibility to jobs and education, and reductions in services for families in difficulty, have all been found to affect the number and composition of those who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

The following sections explore some of the social forces and trends which influence rates of crime and victimization in Canada. The discussions around these factors reflect the importance of considering differing needs when developing and delivering crime prevention policies and programs.

    Social exclusion
    Well-being of Aboriginal People


1 Waller, I. Cutting Crime Significantly: Investing in Effective Prevention. Unpublished manuscript, 2003.