Crime in Niagara

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Overall Crime Rates and Violent Crime Rates

The violent crime rate includes the category of violent offences which involve the use of force or threat against a person. The following table and graph illustrate the reported number of violent criminal code incidents per 100,000 population in Niagara and three comparison municipalities. The median is the middle value of figures provided by the 12 Canadian municipalities that report to MBNCanada (Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada) on this measure.  

Reported Number of Violent Criminal Code Incidents per 100,000 Population
Municipality 2013 2014 2015
Niagara 726 606 564
Durham 674 613 601
Halton 386 359 364
Hamilton 899 915 824
Median 908 904 861

Reported Violet Incidents

Reported Violet Incidents Population

Source: Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada 2015 MBNCanada Performance Measurement Report.
Retrieved from:

The Nature of Crime and Crime Investigations

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) is a statistical tool that factors in the volume of crimes as well as their severity (based on the average severity of punishments given by judges). Indices are adjusted to have been equal to 100 in the year 1996 (when they were first used). This measure is useful for showing how crime severity changes over time, but does not inform on the rates of crime. For example, it is possible for the CSI to decrease and for the overall crime rate to increase if there are fewer severe crimes (like murder) and far more light crimes (like vandalism) committed. Therefore, this index is useful when analyzed alongside crime rates.

The Weighted Clearance Rate is calculated similarly to the CSI, but instead is related to the clearance of crimes, rather than their reporting:

The weighted clearance rate is based on the same principle used to create the police-reported Crime Severity Index, whereby more serious offences are assigned a higher weight than less serious offences. Applying this concept to clearance rates means that, for example, the clearance of a homicide, robbery or break and enter receives a higher weight than the clearance of less serious offences such as minor theft, mischief and disturbing the peace. ~Statistics Canada

A crime can be cleared by a judge’s verdict, or by non-judicial means (such as dropped charges).

The following table compares the CSI with the Weighted Clearance Rate. These values are available from 1997 – 2015.

Crime Severity Index

Source: Statistics Canada. (2016, July 20). CANSIM Table 252-0052 [Data files].
Retrieved from

Hate Crimes in Niagara

In 2015, police reported 1,362 criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate, marking an increase of 5% or 67 more incidents than were reported the previous year. The increase in the total number of incidents was largely attributable to an increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion (+40 incidents) or of a race or ethnicity (+30 incidents).

Overall, 35% of hate-motivated crimes reported in 2015 were motivated by hatred of religion. Police-reported hate crimes targeting sexual orientation declined 9% in 2015, down from 155 incidents in 2014 to 141. These incidents accounted for 11% of hate crimes reported in 2015. The number of violent hate crimes increased 15% from the previous year, driven by increases in common assault and uttering threats.

Hate Crimes Per 100,000 Population, 2013-2015
2013 2014 2015
Canada 3.3 3.7 3.8
Ontario 4.5 4.8 4.6
St. Catharines-Niagara CMA 2.0 2.2 2.0
Hamilton CMA 17.4 14.9 9.9
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA 2.4 5.2 9.4

Source: Statistics Canada. Police-reported hate crime in Canada.
2014-2015 data retrieved from:; 2013 data retrieved from:

Youth Crime

The following table shows the comparison of crime rates for youth (aged 12-17), adults (aged 18 and older), and the total population in the St. Catharines–Niagara CMA.

Crime Rates – Youth, Adults

Source: Statistics Canada. (2016 July 20). CANSIM Table 252-0051 [Data file].
Retrieved from

Criminal Code Violations and Incidents

The following table takes a more detailed look at the nature of Criminal Code violations in Canada and the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA, with two additional CMAs as comparators.

Criminal Code Violations and Incidents Per 100,000 Population, 2015
Total crime (crime rate) Violent crime (rate) Property crime (rate) Other Criminal Code offences (rate) Drug offences (rate)
Canada 5,198 1,062 3,220 916 150
St. Catharines-Niagara CMA 3,544 566 2,590 389 129
Hamilton CMA 3,483 699 2,383 402 234
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA 4,558 791 3,087 680 275

Source: Statistics Canada. Police-reported crime rate, by census metropolitan area, 2015. Retrieved from: