The crime rate, a measure of the volume of crime reported to police, fell 3% in 2009 and was 17% lower than a decade ago.
The Crime Severity Index (CSI), a measure of the seriousness of police-reported crime, declined 4% in 2009 and stood 22% lower than in 1999.
Violent crimes, which range in seriousness from harassing phone calls to homicide, accounted for about 1 in 5 crimes in 2009. Police-reported violent crime in Canada is also declining, but to a lesser extent than overall crime.
Police identified about 165,000 youth aged 12 to 17 accused of a criminal offence in 2009. Both the number of crimes and the seriousness of crimes committed by youth have generally been declining since 2001, including a slight drop in 2009.
"Unfortunately, our safe streets and healthy communities are increasingly under threat of gun, gang and drug violence."