Friday, October 17, 2014

The Cost of Crime in Canada
"Despite a decreasing crime rate over a 10-year-period, the costs associated with fighting and punishing illegal activity has increased dramatically, according to a report by public policy think-tank the Fraser Institute.

"Between 2002 and 2012, Canada's crime rate declined 27% while costs associated to the justice system increased 36%.

The report's authors point to actions by the Supreme Court of Canada as directly affecting the cost of justice - specifically, the right to a state-funded lawyer, the right to a speedy trial as well as the requirement by the Crown to full disclosure of all evidence.

Police, for example, are legally obligated to fully disclose to defence lawyers copies of all investigative materials, audio and video recordings, notebook entries, reports, tips from the public; all operational plans, wiretap information and phone records, among other things....

The report also emphasizes a glaring omission in the way crime statistics are compiled.

The Statistics Canada General Social Survey looks specifically at criminal activity but is only conducted every five years.

The report questions the veracity of that data because it isn't collected annually and concludes the ability to collect meaningful statistics is severely compromised."

View the Report

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