Insofar as the Ministry of the Solicitor General is concerned, the answer is as follows: a) Violent Crimes Investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Year—Violent Crimes 1978—35,400 1979—37,930 1980—39,665 1981—40,888 1982—44,550 1983—44,687 1984—47,983 1985—50,859 1986—54,733 1987—57,592 1988—60,158 1989—64,924 1990—70,236 1991—76,871 1992—81,040 1993—84,894 1994—85,139 1995—83,863 1996—84,499 1997—93,055
Source, Canadian Centre for Justice StatisticsL>E Aggregate Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR 1)
The statistics on violent crimes investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, were obtained from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, CCJS. The RCMP does not have crime statistics in an automated format for 1978 to 1981 and must rely on CCJS statistics.
“Violent Crime” in the table refers to the total number of violent crimes investigated by the RCMP which includes crimes against persons, such as homicide, attempted homicide, sexual assault, non-sexual assault, other sexual offences, abduction and robbery.
It is important to note that CCJS's statistical information reflects the “Most Serious Offence Rule” which restricts the reporting of offences to CCJS to only the most serious offence in an event. For this reason, the number of violent offences investigated by the RCMP is undercounted by 2000-4000 when compared to operational police data maintained by the RCMP.
b) Violent Crime Incidents involving Firearms Investigated by the RCMP
Year—Homicide 1978—78 1979—65 1980—57 1981—61 1982—76 1983—68 1984—62 1985—60 1986—60 1987—45 1988—45 1989—47 1990—53 1991—58 1992—68 1993—59 1994—56 1995—43 1996—61 1997—51
Year—Robbery with Firearms 1978—263 1979—275 1980—290 1981—340 1982—457 1983—378 1984—381 1985—324 1986—335 1987—388 1988—317 1989—354 1990—438 1991—731 1992—734 1993—656 1994—597 1995—649 1996—736 1997—610
Year—Discharge of Firearms with intent 1978—n/a 1979—n/a 1980—n/a 1981—n/a 1982—n/a 1983—56 1984—69 1985—79 1986—93 1987—84 1988—87 1989—73 1990—97 1991—116 1992—154 1993—109 1994—86 1995—85 1996—82 1997—62
Note: n/a = Not available
Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Aggregate Uniform Crime Reporting Servey (UCR 1)
The RCMP does not have an automated system to indentify all crimes where a firearm was used during the commission of an offence. The police information retrieval system PIRS, is the automated indexing system for the majority of the RCMP investigative files. However, it is not mandatory to record all information on the system. PIRS serves as a pointer to the hard-copy files where the details of investigations are recorded, including information on firearms used in a crime. The hard-copy files are the only source of information that can accurately reveal all information on firearms the RCMP encounters.
The RCMP opens approximately 2.5M investigational files each year; therefore, it is estimated that the number of files the RCMP created during the past 20 years would be up to 50M. The RCMP does not have the resources for this type of extensive file review. We would encounter problems conducting this research, even if resources were available, since files have various retention periods ranging from 24 months after the date of conclusion to 240 months. Some files are retained indefinitely if they meet the general criteria of the National Archives of Canada. With all of these details in mind, clearly tabulating the requested information is an impossible task due to the records that no longer exist and the quantity of resources required to review the millions of files.
The RCMP uses operational statistics reporting OSR, to fulfil the requirement of reporting crime information to Statistics Canada. OSR is a far more accurate data source than PIRS, but there are data quality concerns with it. OSR is comprised of 1,206 codes which identify various offences, survey or service provided information. There are no OSR codes to clearly identify all instances when firearms are used to commit crimes. For example, AA01 indicates a 1st degree murder, but it does not reveal how the murder occurred. There are some OSR codes which do indicate a firearm was used or some other weapon. These codes include the following: AA34—Robbery with Firearms—Effective date: 1981-05-01; AA48—Discharge of Firearms with Intent—Effective date: 1983-01-04.
The OSR codes AC13, AC14 and AC15 identify weapons offences that include many firearm crimes, but without a detailed review of every file there is no way of identifying only the crimes involving firearms. For this reason, these statistics have not been included in this report. The following information explains the offences covered by each OSR code.
AC13—Prohibited Weapons—Effective date: 1981-05-01—Note that not all prohibited weapons are firearms. The existence of an offence does not mean the weapon was used directly against someone. The presence of a prohibited weapon is an offence. Offences under this category refer ot breaches of Sections 90 (Possession of Prohibited Weapon), 95 (Importing or Delivering Prohibited Weapon), 103(10) (Possession of Prohibited Weapon while Prohibited), 104 (Found Prohibited Weapon) and 105 (Record of Transaction in Prohibited Weapons) of the Criminal Code. It is not possible to determine how many offences in this category involve violence against a person.
AC14—Restricted Weapons—Effective date: 1981-05-01—Note that not all restricted weapons are firearms. The presence of a restricted weapon can be an offence; therefore, the existence of an offence does not mean the weapon was used directly against someone. AC14 covers restricted weapons offences under Sections 91 (Possession of Unregistered Restricted Weapon), 96 (Delivery of Restricted Weapon to Person without Permit), 103(10) (Possession of Restricted Weapon while Prohibited), 104 (Found Restricted Weapon) and 105 (Record of Transaction in Restricted Weapons) of the Criminal Code.
AC15—Other Offensive Weapons—Effective date: 1981-05-01—Note that this code includes much more than firearm offences and includes: breaches of Section 85 (Use of Firearm in Commission of Offence); 86 (Pointing a Firearm); 87 (Possession of Weapon or imitation); 88 (While Attending Public Meeting); 89 (Carrying Concealed Weapon); 93 (Transfer of Firearm to Person Under 18); 94 (Wrongful Delivery of Firearms, etc.); 97 (Delivery of Firearm to Person Without Firearms Acquisition Certificate); 100 (Prohibition Orders, Seizure and Forfeiture); 103(6)(b) & (10) (Possession of Firearm, etc. while Prohibited); 104 (Found Weapon not Prohibited or Restricted); 105 (Ammunition and Firearm[not Prohibited or Restricted]); and, 113 (Offences Relating to Certificate and Permits) of the Criminal Code.
(c) The RCMP does not collect statistics in this format. To even provide a partial answer to this qestion would require a labour intensive review of millions of RCMP files at detachments across Canada. The RCMP does not have resources for this undertaking.
Question No. 144—