Property crimes top the list of cyber-crimes in Canada

Sexual violations fewer than one fifth of reported computer crimes


A graph from StatsCan's 2012 report on cyber crime in Canada.

A graph from StatsCan’s 2012 report on cyber crime in Canada.

A new Statistics Canada report says property violations, such as fraud, account for almost two-thirds of all cyber-crimes in Canada, as reported by police services who participated in a 2012 survey.

Property violations accounted for 61 per cent of all reported computer crime violations, and nearly all of those — 88 per cent — were fraud, the report said.

Police identified an accused in only six per cent of these incidents, the report said.

The report defined cyber-crime as “criminal offences involving a computer or the internet as either the target of a crime or as an instrument used to commit a crime.”

The new study does not contain Nunavut-specific data, but cyber-crime in Nunavut is believed to be on the rise.

Criminal violations of intimidation — threats of violence — were the second most common reported incidents in 2012, accounting for about 20 per cent of all reported incidents. Police identified an accused in about half of those cases but laid charges in only 20 per cent of them, the study said.

Sexual violations accounted for 16 per cent of reported incidents, the study said: child luring accounted for six per cent of all reported cases and offences relating to child pornography made up nine per cent.

Only one quarter of reported computer sexual violations resulted in charges and nearly all those charged — 94 per cent — were male, according to StatsCan.

About one per cent of all reported incidents involved more serious violations, such as physical or sexual assault, the study said.

The study identified trends in gender, age and relationship to accused for victims of reported cyber-crimes.

Women were far more likely to be the victims of violent incidents involving cyber-crime (69 per cent of all reported incidents), especially for violent incidents of a sexual nature (84 per cent), the study said.

Victims of reported cyber-crimes were generally young, StatsCan said, but especially in cases of sexual violations: 96 per cent of reported incidents involved victims aged 17 and younger.

In just over half the cases, the accused in reported sexual violations were known to the victim’s family, the study said. When the case involved violent violations, the connection between the accused and the victim’s family was even stronger — 75 per cent of cases.

Police services in a number of Canadian cities — Saint John, Quebec, Toronto and Calgary — did not participate in the 2012 survey, StatsCan said.

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