THE EXTENT OF YOUTH VICTIMIZATION CRIME AND

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THE EXTENT OF YOUTH VICTIMIZATION CRIME AND Powered By Docstoc
					THE EXTENT OF YOUTH VICTIMIZATION, CRIME AND
       DELINQUENCY IN ALBERTA, 1999:
       SUMMARY OF CALGARY FINDINGS




                       Prepared by:

                  Lorne D. Bertrand, Ph.D.

                 Jeanette T. Gomes, M.A.

                            and

                 Joseph P. Hornick, Ph.D.

     Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family




                        March 2000
              The views expressed in this report
    are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily
               reflect the views or policies of the
    Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family,
                 the Alberta Law Foundation or
   the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.




 Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, 2000

                    c/o Faculty of Law
                   University of Calgary
                2500 University Drive, N.W.
                 Calgary, Alberta, Canada
                         T2N 1N4
                Telephone: (403) 220-6653
                   Fax: (403) 289-4887
                 e-mail: crilf@ucalgary.ca




               This report is also available at:
                   www.ucalgary.ca/~crilf



                            ii
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                                                           Page

1.0   Introduction                                                            1

2.0   Methodology                                                             1

      2.1   Sampling Strategy and Survey Administration                       1
      2.2   Data Analysis Strategy                                            4
      2.3   Limitations of the Study                                          4

3.0   Victimization and Delinquency among Calgary Youth                       5

      3.1   Victimization at School                                           5
            3.1.1 Prevalence of Victimization at School                       5
            3.1.2 Relationship between Victimization at School and
                   Demographic Characteristics                                5
      3.2   Victimization While Not at School                                 7
            3.2.1 Prevalence of Victimization While Not at School             7
            3.2.2 Relationship between Victimization While Not at School
                   and Demographic Characteristics                            9
      3.3   Delinquent Behaviour                                             11
            3.3.1 Prevalence of Delinquent Behaviour                         11
            3.3.2 Relationship between Delinquent Behaviour and
                   Demographic Characteristics                               13
      3.4   Weapons                                                          16
            3.4.1 Prevalence of Having Weapons at School                     16
            3.4.2 Relationship between Having Weapons and
                   Demographic Characteristics                               16

4.0   Contact with and Perceptions of the Police and Suggestions for
      Enhancing School and Community Safety                                  19

      4.1   Contact with the Police                                          19
      4.2   Perceptions of Police Performance                                20
      4.3   Suggestions for Enhancing School and Community Safety            20

5.0   Comparison of 1994 and 1999 Results                                    22

      5.1   Victimization                                                    22
      5.2   Delinquent Behaviour                                             25
      5.3   Weapons                                                          25
      5.4   Conclusion                                                       28




                                         iii
                        LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES

                                                                                 Page

Table 2.1:    Response Rates by School System for Calgary Surveys                   2

Table 2.2:    Demographic Characteristics of Calgary Student Respondents            3

Figure 3.1:   Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported Being Victimized
              at School and Not at School within the Past Year                      6

Table 3.1:    Calgary Respondents Reporting They Were Victimized One or
              More Times in the Past Year While at School by Demographic
              Characteristics                                                       8

Table 3.2:    Calgary Respondents Reporting They Were Victimized One or
              More Times in the Past Year While Not at School by Demographic
              Characteristics                                                      10

Figure 3.2:   Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported Engaging in
              Delinquent Behaviours in Their Lifetime and within the Past Year     12

Table 3.3:    Calgary Respondents Reporting that They Had Engaged in Certain
              Types of Property-Related Delinquent Behaviours within the Past
              Year by Demographic Characteristics                                  14

Table 3.4:    Calgary Respondents Reporting that They Had Engaged in Certain
              Types of Violence-Related Delinquent Behaviours within the Past
              Year by Demographic Characteristics                                  15

Figure 3.3:   Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported Having a Weapon
              at School within the Past Year                                       17

Table 3.5:    Calgary Respondents Reporting Having Various Types of Weapons
              at School within the Past Year by Demographic Characteristics        18

Table 4.1:    Number of Calgary Students Who Reported Various Types of Contact
              with the Police at School and Not at School within the Past Year     19

Table 4.2:    Ratings of Calgary Students Concerning How Well They Think the
              Police Are Performing Various Components of Their Job                20

Table 4.3:    Most Frequent Responses of Calgary Students When Asked What
              Could Be Done to Make Their School Safer                             21

Table 4.4:    Most Frequent Responses of Calgary Students When Asked What
              Could Be Done to Make Their Community Safer                          21
                                           iv
                                                                              Page

Figure 5.1:   Comparison of Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported
              Being Victimized While at School within the Past Year, by
              Year Data Collected                                               23

Figure 5.2:   Comparison of Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported
              Being Victimized While Not at School within the Past Year, by
              Year Data Collected                                               24

Figure 5.3:   Comparison of Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported
              Engaging in Delinquent Behaviours within the Past Year, by
              Year Data Collected                                               26

Figure 5.4:   Comparison of Percentage of Calgary Students Who Reported
              Having a Weapon at School within the Past Year, by
              Year Data Collected                                               27




                                           v
                                     1.0 INTRODUCTION
       In 1999, the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF), in
partnership with researchers from the University of Alberta, undertook a project to
examine the extent of youth victimization, crime and delinquency in Alberta. The project
was designed to provide information on the prevalence of victimization and delinquent
behaviours among youth using an in-school written survey of students in grades 7
through 12. In addition, the study also examined other characteristics such as
demographics and family, peer group and school factors that might be related to
victimization and delinquency.

       Detailed findings from the Alberta-wide project are presented in a companion
report.1 The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the victimization and
delinquency data collected from the students in Calgary. A secondary purpose of this
report is to examine changes in the level of youth victimization and delinquency in
Calgary over the past five years. In 1994, CRILF conducted a similar study for the
Calgary Police Service with funding from the Solicitor General Canada.2 By comparing
the results from the present study with those collected previously, it is possible to
address the issue of changes in victimization and delinquency during this period.


                                    2.0 METHODOLOGY
      A detailed description of the methodology employed in the project is contained in
the companion report (Gomes, Bertrand, Paetsch, & Hornick, 2000). The following
discussion only pertains to the Calgary component of the study.


2.1     Sampling Strategy and Survey Administration

       The sampling frame for the Calgary component of the project was quadrant of
the city. Two junior high schools and one senior high school from each of the public
and Catholic school districts were randomly selected within each quadrant, resulting in a
total sample of 24 schools. A Catholic senior high school in the northwest quadrant of
the city declined to participate and was replaced with an additional school in the
southwest quadrant.

       Once schools were contacted and their participation in the study confirmed, a
random sample of students from each school to be included was generated by the
central school district offices.3   Consent forms were then mailed to the

1
  Gomes, J.T., Bertrand, L.D., Paetsch, J.J., & Hornick, J.P. (2000). The Extent of Youth Victimization,
Crime and Delinquency in Alberta, 1999. Calgary, AB: Canadian Research Institute for Law and the
Family.
2
  Smith, R.B., Bertrand, L.D., Arnold, B.A., & Hornick, J.P. (1995). A Study of the Level and Nature of
Youth Crime and Violence in Calgary. Calgary, AB: Calgary Police Service.
3
  A classroom sampling method was employed for two schools. Using this method, classes that were
mandatory for all students in a particular grade level were selected for inclusion. There is no reason to
believe that this deviation from a random sampling procedure has substantially affected the results.
                                                   1
parents/guardians of the students requesting their consent for their child’s participation.
If parents consented, they were requested to sign the form and return it to CRILF by a
specified date either by mail using an enclosed business reply envelope or by fax. A list
of students who received consent was compiled for each school and provided to school
officials prior to questionnaire administration. Surveys were administered to students
during class time by trained members of the CRILF research team during the spring of
1999. Table 2.1 presents the number of students selected to participate in the study by
Calgary school district, the number of students receiving parental consent, and the
number of students who completed the survey, as well as corresponding response
rates. Out of 2,995 students in the original sample, a total of 1,021 consent forms were
received by the date of survey administration. Out of this total, 745 valid surveys were
completed, representing 24.9% of the initial sample or 73% of the students for whom
consent was obtained. This pattern was very similar for the two school districts.


                                             TABLE 2.1

            RESPONSE RATES BY SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR CALGARY SURVEYS

     SCHOOL          TOTAL          TOTAL           VALID           RESPONSE          RESPONSE
     SYSTEM         SAMPLE         CONSENT         SURVEYS         RATE OUT OF       RATE OUT OF
                                    FORMS         COMPLETED           TOTAL             TOTAL
                                                                              1                   2
                                   RECEIVED                        SAMPLE (%)        POSSIBLE (%)
    Calgary
    Catholic          968             348              251              25.9              72.1
    Calgary
    Public            2,027           673              494              24.4              73.4

    TOTAL             2,995          1,021             745              24.9              73.0


1
    Response Rate Out of Total Sample = Valid Surveys Completed/Total Sample.
2
    Response Rate Out of Total Possible = Valid Surveys Completed/Total Consent Forms Received.

       Table 2.2 presents selected demographic characteristics of the student sample.
With respect to gender, there were slightly more females (55.2%) who completed the
survey than males (44.8%). There were also more junior high school students in the
sample (61.7%) than senior high school students (38.2%). Approximately equal
numbers of students attended schools in the southeast (25.9%) and southwest (23.9%)
quadrants of Calgary; there were fewer students in the northeast (19.3%) and more in
the northwest (30.9%). The northwest also had a substantially higher proportion of
junior high school students than the other quadrants. For this reason, no further
analyses were conducted using geographic location. The majority of students reported
that they lived with both parents (71.2%); fewer reported living in a single parent family
(18.6%) or in a reconstituted family (6.2%). Almost all students indicated that they think
of themselves as Canadian (96%). When asked about their cultural heritage, the
majority identified themselves as White (69.2%). Given the relatively small proportion of
students who reported a cultural identity other than White, no further analyses were
conducted using this variable.

                                                   2
                                              TABLE 2.2

    DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF CALGARY STUDENT RESPONDENTS

                          Characteristics                                    N               %
       1
Gender
 Male                                                                       333             44.8
 Female                                                                     411             55.2
Total                                                                       744            100.0
Grade
 7                                                                          158             21.2
 8                                                                          149             20.0
 9                                                                          153             20.5
 10                                                                          97             13.0
 11                                                                         121             16.2
 12                                                                          67              9.0
Total                                                                       745            100.0
Quadrant of City
 Northeast                                                                  144             19.3
 Southeast                                                                  193             25.9
 Southwest                                                                  178             23.9
 Northwest                                                                  230             30.9
Total                                                                       745            100.0
                     2
Family Composition
 Both Parents                                                               527             71.2
 Single Parent                                                              138             18.6
 Reconstituted Family                                                        46              6.2
       3
 Other                                                                       29              3.9
Total                                                                       740            100.0
                              4
Self-perception as Canadian
 Yes                                                                        711             96.0
 No                                                                          30              4.0
Total                                                                       741            100.0
                 5
Cultural Identity
 White                                                                      473              69.2
 Chinese                                                                     35               5.1
 South Asian (e.g., East Indian, Pakistani, Punjabi, Sri Lankan)             15               2.2
 Latin American                                                              11               1.6
 Arab/West Asian (e.g., Armenian, Egyptian, Iranian, Lebanese,
         Moroccan)                                                            8               1.2
 Southeast Asian (e.g., Cambodian, Indonesian, Laotian,
         Vietnamese)                                                          8              1.2
 Aboriginal                                                                   7              1.0
 Japanese                                                                     5              0.7
 Black                                                                        4              0.6
 Other/Mixed Descent                                                        126             17.3
Total                                                                       692            100.0

1
  Missing Cases=1.
2
  Missing Cases=5.
3
  Examples of “Other” Family Composition include single parent and grandparent or other relative, and
single parent and non-relative.
4
  Missing Cases=4.
5
  Missing Cases=53.
Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.


                                                    3
2.2    Data Analysis Strategy

       This report is organized around the broad topics of self-reported victimization,
delinquency (including possession of weapons), and students’ perceptions of the police
and their community. Section 3 presents the findings related to victimization and
delinquency. In addition to providing basic prevalence information regarding these
areas, each type of victimization and delinquency is examined in relation to selected
demographic characteristics. Victimization and delinquency are discussed with respect
to several other interpersonal and intrapersonal factors in the companion report
presenting the findings of the complete study – there is no reason to suspect that the
Calgary data would differ substantially from the information collected in other areas of
Alberta.

       Section 4 presents an overview of the findings related to students’ perceptions of
the police and how they think their schools and communities could be made safer. The
final section contains a comparison of data on selected forms of victimization and
delinquency with information collected in the 1995 study (reporting on data collected in
1994) conducted by CRILF.

        The chi-square test of association was used in all appropriate analyses to assess
statistically significant relationships. In all tables, statistically significant associations are
clearly noted, and only significant findings are discussed in the text.


2.3    Limitations of the Study

        While every effort was made in this project to obtain a representative sample of
students from each of the quadrants of Calgary, certain factors that may limit the
generalizability of the findings to the student population as a whole should be
acknowledged. Wherever possible, individual students were selected at random for
participation in the study. However, the possibility exists that through the two levels of
exclusion (i.e., parent exclusion by not returning the consent form and student exclusion
by not completing the questionnaire) the selected students who did not complete the
survey may represent a sample that is biased in some way from the students who did
participate.

        One group that obviously cannot be included in a school-based survey is drop-
outs, and these young people tend to be those at highest risk of engaging in problem
behaviour. Further, there is some research to suggest that students who choose not to
participate in this type of research tend to be those at the highest risk of being
victimized and engaging in delinquent behaviour. Thus, the net effect of any bias from
these sources in the present study would be to provide an underestimate of
victimization and delinquency.

      A final limitation of the present study is one inherent in all cross-sectional survey
research. Because the instrument is administered to respondents only once at a single
moment in time, it is difficult to make statements about cause and effect relationships
among characteristics and behaviours. This type of research design, while allowing us
                                                4
to examine relationships and associations among variables, does not afford the
opportunity to conclude with certainty that changes in one characteristic cause changes
in another.


    3.0 VICTIMIZATION AND DELINQUENCY AMONG CALGARY YOUTH

3.1      Victimization at School

      Students were asked to indicate whether any of 11 specific types of victimization
had happened to them at least once within the past year both at school and not at
school. The specific types of victimization assessed were:

     respondent had something damaged or destroyed on purpose;
     respondent had something stolen;
     someone took or tried to take something from respondent by force or threat of force;
     someone threatened to hurt respondent or to cause bodily harm;
     someone slapped, punched, or kicked respondent in anger;
     someone threw something at respondent intending to hurt;
     someone threatened respondent with a weapon;
     respondent was attacked by a group or gang ;
     someone sexually exposed themselves to respondent;
     someone touched respondent in a sexual way against respondent’s will; and
     someone said something of a sexual nature to respondent that upset or offended
      respondent.

         3.1.1 Prevalence of Victimization at School

       Figure 3.1 presents the prevalence of victimization both at school and not at
school within the past year. The overall prevalence of victimization was quite high, with
434 students (58.3%) reporting that they had experienced at least one of the 11 types of
victimization at school within the past year. The most prevalent type of victimization at
school was being slapped, punched or kicked by someone in anger (24.4%), followed
by having something stolen (23%), being threatened with bodily harm (23%), and
having something damaged on purpose (16.1%).

       The least prevalent types of victimization reported by the students were being
threatened with a weapon (1.9%), being attacked by a group or gang (1.9%), having
someone expose themselves (2.3%), and being sexually touched against their will
(5.4%).

         3.1.2 Relationship between Victimization at School and Demographic
               Characteristics

     The proportion of students reporting that each of the 11 types of victimization had
happened to them within the past year at school was analyzed by selected demographic

                                             5
                                                                                                                  FIGURE 3.1

                                   PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED BEING VICTIMIZED AT SCHOOL
                                                   AND NOT AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR

                         70

                                     58.3
                         60

                                               49.5                                                                                                                                At School
                         50
                                                                                                                                                                                   Not at School
Percentage




                         40


                         30
                                                                                                                         24.4
                                                                            23                           23

                         20                                                      16.9                                             18
                                                         16.1 15.2                                              16.2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   12.9
                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.6
                                                                                                                                            8.7                                                                                           7.8
                         10                                                                                                                        7.4
                                                                                           6.2 5.5                                                                    5                                          5.4 6.4
                                                                                                                                                              1.9              1.9 2.8          2.3

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                                                                                                                       Type of Victimization


              Multiple response items except for "Any Type of Victimization."
              Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N = 745.
characteristics. Results are presented in Table 3.1. For all types of victimization except
being sexually touched against the respondent’s will and having something sexually
offensive said to respondent, males were more likely to report that they had been
victimized than were females. This difference was statistically significant for having
something damaged on purpose (20.4% of males compared to 12.7% of females),
having something taken by force or threat of force (10.8% of males compared to 2.4%
of females), being slapped, punched or kicked in anger (35.1% of males compared to
15.8% of females), having something thrown at them (12.3% of males compared to
5.8% of females), being threatened with a weapon (3.3% of males and 0.7% of females)
and being attacked by a group or gang (3.3% of males and 0.7% of females). Females
were significantly more likely to report that they had been touched in a sexual way
against their will (7.8%) than were males (2.4%) and that something sexually offensive
had been said to them (17.5% of females compared to 6.9% of males).

       When victimization at school was examined by students’ grade, the pattern of
findings indicated that for most types of victimization prevalence tended to increase
across grade levels to Grade 9, followed by a decline in prevalence in Grades 10 and
11, with a slight increase in Grade 12. For example, 18.4% of students in Grade 7
reported that something belonging to them had been damaged on purpose at school
within the past year, compared to 24.2% of students in Grade 9, 7.4% of students in
Grade 11, and 14.9% of students in Grade 12.

        When victimization at school was examined in relation to family composition (i.e.,
both parents, single parent family, reconstituted family, or other family form) no
significant differences were obtained. Thus, the findings indicated that prevalence of
each of the 11 types of victimization at school within the past year was not related to the
students’ family arrangements.


3.2    Victimization While Not at School

       3.2.1 Prevalence of Victimization While Not at School

       Students were also asked whether each of the 11 types of victimization had
happened to them while not at school within the past year. Figure 3.1 above presents
the prevalence of victimization while not at school. Almost one-half (49.5%) of students
reported that they had been victimized in at least one of the 11 ways assessed while not
at school within the past year. However, the overall prevalence of victimization while
not at school was not as high as victimization at school.




                                            7
                                                                                                   TABLE 3.1

                                      CALGARY RESPONDENTS REPORTING THEY WERE VICTIMIZED ONE OR MORE TIMES IN THE PAST YEAR
                                                       WHILE AT SCHOOL BY DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

                                                                                                        Type of Victimization
    Demographic
    Characteristic     Something             Something          Something             Someone        Was    Something   Was      Attacked   Someone                                     Touched       Someone Said
                       Damaged                 Stolen            Taken by            Threatened   Slapped, Thrown at Threatened by a Group  Sexually                                    Sexually       Something
                          on                                     Force or              to Hurt    Punched,    Them     with a    or Gang    Exposed                                     Against         Sexually
                        Purpose                                   Threat                          or Kicked           Weapon               Themselves                                     Will          Offensive

                         n            %      n           %      n             %       n    %      n     %      n           %      n           %     n           %     n           %     n       %      n             %
Gender                           **                                     ***                          ***         **                       *                 *                             ***                  ***
  Male (n=333)           68           20.4    80         24.0    36           10.8    83   24.9   117 35.1     41 12.3            11          3.3   11          3.3       9       2.7     8 2.4        23             6.9
  Female (n=411)         52           12.7    91         22.1    10            2.4    87   21.2    65 15.8     24   5.8            3          0.7    3          0.7       8       1.9    32 7.8        72            17.5
  missing cases=1
Grade                            **                  *                  **                           ***               *                                                      *
  7 (n=158)              29           18.4    35         22.2    11            7.0    33   20.9    48 30.4     14           8.9       4       2.5       6       3.8       2       1.3     7     4.4    20            12.7
  8 (n=149)              23           15.4    41         27.5    13            8.7    41   27.5    42 28.2     17          11.4       4       2.7       1       0.7       8       5.4     8     5.4    20            13.4
  9 (n=153)              37           24.2    47         30.7    16           10.5    33   21.6    48 31.4     19          12.4       2       1.3       3       2.0       6       3.9    12     7.8    22            14.4
  10 (n=97)              12           12.4    20         20.6     5            5.2    27   27.8    23 23.7     10          10.3       2       2.1       2       2.1       1       1.0     2     2.1    11            11.3
  11 (n=121)              9            7.4    17         14.0     0            0.0    23   19.0    12    9.9    1           0.8       1       0.8       1       0.8       0       0.0     9     7.4    16            13.2
  12 (n=67)              10           14.9    11         16.4     1            1.5    14   20.9     9 13.4      4           6.0       1       1.5       1       1.5       0       0.0     2     3.0     7            10.4
Family
Composition
  Both Parents
  (n=527)                86           16.3   118         22.4    30            5.7   110   20.9   126   23.9   43           8.2   10          1.9       9       1.7       9       1.7    26     4.9    69            13.1
  Single Parent
  (n=138)                23           16.7    37         26.8    12            8.7    38   27.5    34   24.6   15          10.9       3       2.2       3       2.2       7       5.1    13     9.4    15            10.9
  Reconstituted
  Family (n=46)              6        13.0       8       17.4       2          4.3    15   32.6    14   30.4       4        8.7       0       0.0       2       4.3       1       2.2       0   0.0        6         13.0
               1
  Other (n=29)               4        13.8       6       20.7       2          6.9     5   17.2     7   24.1       3       10.3       1       3.4       0       0.0       0       0.0       1   3.4        5         17.2
  missing cases=5

1
  Examples of "Other" family compositions include single parent and grandparent or other relative, and single parent and non-relative.
*** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05
Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.
        Similar to the findings concerning victimization at school, the most prevalent type
of victimization while not at school was being slapped, punched or kicked by someone
in anger (18%), followed by having something stolen (16.9%), being threatened with
bodily harm (16.2%), and having something damaged on purpose (15.2%). The least
prevalent types of victimization while not at school were being attacked by a group or
gang (2.8%), being threatened with a weapon (5%), having something taken by force or
threat of force (5.5%), and being sexually touched against their will (6.4%).

       For the majority of the types of victimization, the prevalence rates were higher at
school than not at school, suggesting that young people are more likely to be the targets
of youth crime and delinquency at school than elsewhere. The prevalence rates were
higher not at school than at school for four types of victimization: being threatened with
a weapon, being attacked by a group, having someone sexually expose themselves,
and being sexually touched against their will.

       3.2.2 Relationship between Victimization While Not at School and Demographic
             Characteristics

      Table 3.2 presents an analysis of the types of victimization occurring not at
school within the past year by selected demographic characteristics of the sample. With
respect to gender, there were no significant differences between males and females in
the prevalence of most forms of victimization. The only significant differences were
found with having something taken by force or threat of force (7.5% of males and 3.9%
of females), being sexually touched against their will (10.2% of females compared to
1.8% of males), and having something sexually offensive said to them (11.7% of
females and 3% of males).

       With respect to grade, the pattern of findings was very similar to those obtained
with victimization at school, and indicated a tendency for victimization to increase up to
Grade 9, followed by a decline in subsequent grades. For example, 1.9% of Grade 7
students reported that they had been threatened with a weapon at least once in the past
year while not at school, compared to 10.5% of students in Grade 9 and 4.5% of
students in Grade 12.

        The prevalence of four types of victimization while not at school differed
significantly by family composition: something taken by force or threat of force, being
threatened with bodily harm, having someone sexually expose themselves, and being
sexually touched against their will. The general pattern of these differences was that
students living with both parents or in an other family composition tended to report the
lowest prevalence, while students living in single parent or reconstituted families tended
to report somewhat higher prevalence. For example, 12.9% of students living with both
parents reported that someone had threatened to hurt them while not at school at least
once within the past year, compared to 22.5% of students in single parent families,
34.8% of students in reconstituted families, and 17.2% of students reporting some other
type of family composition.




                                            9
                                                                                             TABLE 3.2

                              CALGARY RESPONDENTS REPORTING THEY WERE VICTIMIZED ONE OR MORE TIMES IN THE PAST YEAR
                                             WHILE NOT AT SCHOOL BY DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

                                                                                                         Type of Victimization
    Demographic
    Characteristic     Something      Something      Something            Someone              Was    Something   Was      Attacked   Someone                                        Touched       Someone Said
                       Damaged          Stolen        Taken by           Threatened         Slapped, Thrown at Threatened by a Group  Sexually                                       Sexually       Something
                          on                          Force or             to Hurt          Punched,    Them     with a    or Gang    Exposed                                        Against         Sexually
                        Purpose                        Threat                               or Kicked           Weapon               Themselves                                        Will          Offensive

                         n     %      n       %      n            %       n          %      n            %      n       %      n            %      n       %     n            %      n       %      n             %
Gender                                                       *                                                                                                                         ***                  ***
  Male (n=333)           50    15.0    55     16.5    25           7.5    54         16.2    57          17.1   23       6.9   22            6.6   13      3.9   36           10.8     6 1.8        10             3.0
  Female (n=411)         62    15.1    71     17.3    16           3.9    66         16.1    77          18.7   32       7.8   15            3.6    7      1.7   43           10.5    42 10.2       48            11.7
  missing cases=1
Grade                                                        *                  *                   **            ***                  **                                **              *
  7 (n=158)              20    12.7    23     14.6     4           2.5    15          9.5    19          12.0    4    2.5       3            1.9       5   3.2    3            1.9     0     0.0     7             4.4
  8 (n=149)              23    15.4    20     13.4    11           7.4    21         14.1    31          20.8   16 10.7         4            2.7       2   1.3   16           10.7    13     8.7    10             6.7
  9 (n=153)              33    21.6    28     18.3    14           9.2    35         22.9    40          26.1   19 12.4        16           10.5       7   4.6   23           15.0    13     8.5    16            10.5
  10 (n=97)              13    13.4    16     16.5     2           2.1    22         22.7    15          15.5   10 10.3         7            7.2       3   3.1   16           16.5     6     6.2     7             7.2
  11 (n=121)             16    13.2    22     18.2     9           7.4    19         15.7    23          19.0    5    4.1       4            3.3       3   2.5   15           12.4    10     8.3    10             8.3
  12 (n=67)               8    11.9    17     25.4     1           1.5     9         13.4     6           9.0    1    1.5       3            4.5       1   1.5    6            9.0     6     9.0     8            11.9
Family                                                       **                ***                                                                                       **             **
Composition
  Both Parents
  (n=527)                72    13.7    79     15.0    20           3.8    68         12.9    97          18.4   37       7.0   23            4.4   16      3.0   44            8.3    25     4.7    33                6.3
  Single Parent
  (n=138)                26    18.8    33     23.9    15          10.9    31         22.5    27          19.6   15      10.9   11            8.0       2   1.4   25           18.1    17 12.3       17            12.3
  Reconstituted
  Family (n=46)          10    21.7       9   19.6       3         6.5    16         34.8       7        15.2       1    2.2       1         2.2       2   4.3       7        15.2       5 10.9         6         13.0
               1
  Other (n=29)            4    13.8       5   17.2       3        10.3     5         17.2       3        10.3       2    6.9       2         6.9       0   0.0       2         6.9       1 3.4          2          6.9
  missing cases=5

1
  Examples of "Other" family compositions include single parent and grandparent or other relative, and single parent and non-relative.
*** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05
Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.
3.3      Delinquent Behaviour

      In order to examine the prevalence of engaging in delinquent acts, students were
asked if they had engaged in each of 14 specific behaviours both ever in their lifetime
and within the past year. The specific behaviours included were:

     damaged or destroyed someone else’s property on purpose;
     stolen something worth less than $50;
     stolen something worth more than $50;
     stolen something with a group of friends;
     broken into a house;
     taken or tried to take something from someone using force or threat or force;
     taken a car or motorcycle for a ride without the owner’s permission;
     threatened to hurt someone or cause them harm;
     slapped, punched, or kicked someone in anger;
     thrown something at someone to hurt them;
     threatened someone with a weapon;
     together with a group of friends, fought with others;
     touched someone against their will in a sexual way; and
     said something of a sexual nature to someone that upset or offended them.

         3.3.1 Prevalence of Delinquent Behaviour

        Figure 3.2 presents the prevalence of each type of delinquent behaviour, both
during the respondents’ lifetime and during the past year. Overall, 68.3% of the
students reported that they had engaged in at least one of the behaviours at some point
in their life, while 57.6% indicated that they had engaged in at least one of the
behaviours within the past year. The most prevalent type of delinquent behaviour
reported by students was slapping, punching or kicking someone in anger (47.8% in
lifetime and 37.2% in past year), followed by stealing something worth less than $50
(37.7% in lifetime and 28.6% in past year), throwing something at someone to hurt them
(29.7% in lifetime and 18% in past year), and threatening to hurt someone (24.7% in
lifetime and 18% in past year).

      The least prevalent types of delinquent behaviour were touching someone in a
sexual way against their will (2.7% in lifetime and 1.7% in past year), breaking into a
house (3.6% in lifetime and 2.6% in past year), threatening someone with a weapon
(5.4% in lifetime and 3.6% in past year), and stealing something worth greater than $50
(6.6% in lifetime and 4.7% in past year).




                                             11
                                                                                                 FIGURE 3.2

                                  PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED ENGAGING IN DELINQUENT
                                          BEHAVIOURS IN THEIR LIFETIME AND WITHIN THE PAST YEAR

                            80

                                 68.3
                            70

                                    57.6                                                                                                                               Lifetime
                            60
                                                                                                                                                                       Past Year
                            50                                                                                                      47.8
Percentage




                            40                       37.7                                                                              37.2

                                                        28.6                                                                                  29.7
                            30                                                                                          24.7
                                           22
                                                                                                                                                                      19.7
                                                                                                                               18                    18
                            20                                             15
                                                14                                                                                                                       13.6
                                                                                10.3                                                                                                      9.4
                            10                                 6.6                                7.5         7.1   6                                                                           6.6
                                                                     4.7                                5.5                                               5.4
                                                                                       3.6 2.6                                                                  3.6             2.7 1.7

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                                                                                           Type of Delinquent Behaviour

              Multiple response items except for "Any Type of Delinquency."
              Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N = 745.
      3.3.2 Relationship between Delinquent Behaviour and Demographic
            Characteristics

       The relationship between engaging in delinquent behaviours within the past year
and selected demographic characteristics was analyzed. For ease of presentation the
types of delinquency assessed were grouped into property-related and violence-related
behaviours and are presented in Tables 3.3 and 3.4, respectively.

       The results related to gender indicated that the prevalence of only five of the 14
types of delinquency were related to gender: damaged someone’s property on
purpose, stolen something worth more than $50, threatened someone with a weapon,
touched someone sexually against their will, and said something sexually offensive to
someone. In all of the cases, males were significantly more likely to report having
engaged in these behaviours than were females. For example, 17.4% of males
reported that they had damaged someone’s property on purpose at least once within
the past year compared to 10.9% of females, and 5.4% of males said that they had
threatened someone with a weapon compared to 2.2% of females.

       Findings with respect to the relationship between delinquency and students’
grade level were similar to those obtained with victimization and indicated that levels of
delinquency tended to increase from Grade 7 through Grades 9 or 10 and to decline or
level off in subsequent grades. For example, 30.4% of Grade 7 students indicated that
they had slapped, punched or kicked someone in anger within the past year, compared
to 46.4% of Grade 9 students and 28.4% of Grade 12 students.

       When type of delinquency was examined in relation to family composition, only
stealing something worth less than $50 was significantly related to family type. In this
case, 26.2% of students who lived with both parents reported that they had stolen less
than $50 within the past year, compared to 38.4% of students living in single parent
families, 26.1% of respondents in reconstituted families, and 24.1% of students living in
other family arrangements.




                                           13
                                                                                   TABLE 3.3

                      CALGARY RESPONDENTS REPORTING THAT THEY HAD ENGAGED IN CERTAIN TYPES OF PROPERTY-RELATED
                             DELINQUENT BEHAVIOURS WITHIN THE PAST YEAR BY DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

                                                                                            Type of Behaviour
     Demographic
     Characteristic           Damaged                 Stolen <$50              Stolen >$50                     Stolen with              Broken into           Taken Car or
                             Someone's                                                                           Friends                  House                Motorcycle
                              Property                                                                                                                      for Ride without
                             on Purpose                                                                                                                        Permission

                         n                   %    n                   %    n                      %    n                       %    n                  %    n                  %
Gender                             *                                                  ***
  Male (n=333)            58              17.4    99                29.7   25                    7.5   36                    10.8   11                3.3   18             5.4
  Female (n=411)          45              10.9   113                27.5   10                    2.4   41                    10.0    8                1.9   27             6.6
  missing cases=1
Grade                             **                      ***                          *                           **                       **                      ***
  7 (n=158)               14               8.9    22                13.9    2                    1.3    6                     3.8       3             1.9    0             0.0
  8 (n=149)               23              15.4    38                25.5    4                    2.7   11                     7.4       2             1.3    5             3.4
  9 (n=153)               30              19.6    47                30.7   10                    6.5   25                    16.3       4             2.6   10             6.5
  10 (n=97)               20              20.6    38                39.2    5                    5.2   16                    16.5       4             4.1   14            14.4
  11 (n=121)              13              10.7    46                38.0    7                    5.8   12                     9.9       4             3.3   10             8.3
  12 (n=67)                4               6.0    22                32.8    7                   10.4    7                    10.4       2             3.0    6             9.0
Family                                                     *
Composition
  Both Parents
  (n=527)                 62              11.8   138                26.2   20                    3.8   46                     8.7       9             1.7   30             5.7
  Single Parent
  (n=138)                 26              18.8    53                38.4   11                    8.0   22                    15.9       6             4.3   10             7.2
  Reconstituted
  Family (n=46)           10              21.7    12                26.1       1                 2.2       4                  8.7       3             6.5       4          8.7
               1
  Other (n=29)             4              13.8     7                24.1       3                10.3       4                 13.8       1             3.4       1          3.4
    missing cases=5

1
  Examples of "Other" family compositions include single parent and grandparent or other relative, and single parent and non-relative.
*** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05
Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.
                                                                                             TABLE 3.4

                                 CALGARY RESPONDENTS REPORTING THAT THEY HAD ENGAGED IN CERTAIN TYPES OF VIOLENCE-RELATED
                                        DELINQUENT BEHAVIOURS WITHIN THE PAST YEAR BY DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS


                                                                                                   Type of Behaviour
    Demographic
    Characteristic      Taken Something           Threatened            Slapped                 Thrown           Threatened        With a Group of         Touched          Said Something
                           by Force or              to Hurt            Punched, or           Something          Someone with       Friends, Fought         Someone             Sexually
                         Threat of Force           Someone               Kicked              at Someone           a Weapon           with Others           Sexually            Offensive
                                                                        Someone

                         n               %    n                %   n                 %   n                 %    n              %   n              %    n               %    n               %
Gender                                                                                                                  *                                      *                    ***
  Male (n=333)            20            6.0   70           21.0    119           35.7    60              18.0   18          5.4     51          15.3   10             3.0    37           11.1
  Female (n=411)          21            5.1   63           15.3    157           38.2    74              18.0    9          2.2     50          12.2    3             0.7    12            2.9
  missing cases=1
Grade                                                ***                   **                                           *                  **                                       ***
  7 (n=158)                4            2.5   12            7.6    48            30.4    26              16.5    1          0.6     22          13.9       2          1.3     4            2.5
  8 (n=149)                7            4.7   24           16.1    64            43.0    29              19.5    8          5.4     21          14.1       2          1.3     6            4.0
  9 (n=153)               14            9.2   39           25.5    71            46.4    36              23.5   10          6.5     34          22.2       5          3.3    14            9.2
  10 (n=97)                7            7.2   25           25.8    39            40.2    18              18.6    5          5.2     10          10.3       1          1.0    10           10.3
  11 (n=121)               7            5.8   20           16.5    36            29.8    20              16.5    1          0.8      8           6.6       2          1.7     3            2.5
  12 (n=67)                2            3.0   14           20.9    19            28.4     5               7.5    2          3.0      6           9.0       1          1.5    12           17.9
Family
Composition
  Both Parents
  (n=527)                 26            4.9   92           17.5    191           36.2    89              16.9   16          3.0     63          12.0   10             1.9    32            6.1
  Single Parent
  (n=138)                 11            8.0   27           19.6    60            43.5    32              23.2       7       5.1     23          16.7       2          1.4    15           10.9
  Reconstituted
  Family (n=46)              2          4.3   10           21.7    18            39.1        7           15.2       2       4.3        8        17.4       1          2.2       2          4.3
               1
  Other (n=29)               1          3.4    3           10.3     6            20.7        6           20.7       2       6.9        6        20.7       0          0.0       0          0.0
  missing cases=5

1
  Examples of "Other" family compositions include single parent and grandparent or other relative, and single parent and non-relative.
*** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05
Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.
3.4      Weapons

       One form of delinquent behaviour that deserves special consideration is the
presence of weapons at school. Students were asked whether they had carried seven
different types of weapons or had them in their locker at school at least once in the past
year. It is important to note that the questions were phrased in terms of having these
weapons, as opposed to using them. The specific types of weapons that were
assessed were:

     an illegal knife (e.g., butterfly, switchblade);
     a replica (e.g., imitation of a gun);
     a homemade weapon;
     a club or bat;
     a pellet gun;
     a handgun; and
     any other weapon.

         3.4.1 Prevalence of Having Weapons at School

       Figure 3.3 presents the prevalence of Calgary students having each type of
weapon at school at least once within the past year. Of the total number of students,
123 (16.5%) reported having at least one type of weapon at school within the past year.
The most common weapon reported was illegal knives (7.9%), followed by other
weapons (7.1%), replicas (4%), and homemade weapons (3.5%). The weapons that
were least frequently reported were handguns (0.4%), pellet guns (0.8%), and clubs or
bats (2.8%).

         3.4.2 Relationship between Having Weapons and Demographic Characteristics

        The relationship between having each type of weapon at school and selected
demographic characteristics was examined and the findings are presented in Table
3.5.4 The relationship between having weapons at school and gender was statistically
significant for all weapons for which statistical tests were conducted, and indicated in all
cases that males were more likely to report having the weapons at school than were
females. For example, 11.4% of males stated that they had an illegal knife at school
within the past year, compared to 5.1% of females, and 6.9% of males indicated that
they had a homemade weapon at school, compared to 0.7% of females.

        When having weapons at school was analyzed by students’ grade level, a
significant relationship was obtained only for illegal knives. This relationship indicated
that the prevalence rate was highest for students in Grade 9 (15%), and was
considerably lower in other grade levels (e.g., 5.7% in Grade 7 and 7.5% in Grade 12).




4
  Due to the low numbers of students reporting having a pellet gun or handgun at school, tests of
statistical significance were not conducted for these weapons.
                                               16
                                                                                   FIGURE 3.3

                                     PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED HAVING A WEAPON
                                                     AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR


                20


                              16.5
                16




                12
Percentage




                                                   7.9
                   8                                                                                                                              7.1


                                                                 4
                   4                                                                3.5
                                                                                                       2.8

                                                                                                                     0.8         0.4
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                                                                                        Type of Weapon
             Multiple response items except for "Any Type of Weapon."
             * Examples of "Other Weapon" include legal knives, slingshots, and sharp objects.
             Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N = 745.
                                                                                                       TABLE 3.5

                                                                   CALGARY RESPONDENTS REPORTING HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF WEAPONS
                                                                    AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR BY DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS


                                                                                                                 Type of Weapon
       Demographic
       Characteristic               Illegal Knife                   Replica                 Homemade                 Club or Bat                 Pellet Gun1                 Handgun1         Other Weapons2
                                                                                             Weapon

                            n                         %    n                   %    n                   %    n                      %    n                      %    n                   %    n                %
Gender                                   **                           ***                      ***                       ***                                                                          ***
  Male (n=333)               38                     11.4   22                 6.6   23                 6.9   18                    5.4       6                 1.8       3              0.9   39            11.7
  Female (n=411)             21                      5.1    8                 1.9    3                 0.7    3                    0.7       0                 0.0       0              0.0   14             3.4
  missing cases=1
Grade                                     *
  7 (n=158)                   9                      5.7       5              3.2       4              2.5       4                 2.5       2                 1.3       1              0.6    6             3.8
  8 (n=149)                   8                      5.4       6              4.0       1              0.7       1                 0.7       0                 0.0       0              0.0   11             7.4
  9 (n=153)                  23                     15.0       7              4.6       8              5.2       9                 5.9       2                 1.3       2              1.3   16            10.5
  10 (n=97)                   5                      5.2       5              5.2       3              3.1       2                 2.1       0                 0.0       0              0.0    8             8.2
  11 (n=121)                  9                      7.4       5              4.1       6              5.0       4                 3.3       0                 0.0       0              0.0    9             7.4
  12 (n=67)                   5                      7.5       2              3.0       4              6.0       1                 1.5       2                 3.0       0              0.0    3             4.5
Family                                    *
Composition
  Both Parents
  (n=527)                    37                      7.0   17                 3.2   16                 3.0   11                    2.1       4                 0.8       2              0.4   40             7.6
  Single Parent
  (n=138)                    19                     13.8   10                 7.2       7              5.1       5                 3.6       1                 0.7       0              0.0       6          4.3
  Reconstituted
  Family (n=46)                 2                    4.3       2              4.3       2              4.3       3                 6.5       1                 2.2       1              2.2       4          8.7
               3
  Other (n=29)                  1                    3.4       1              3.4       1              3.4       2                 6.9       0                 0.0       0              0.0       3         10.3
  missing cases=5

1
    Due to the low frequencies associated with pellet guns and handguns, tests of statistical significance were not conducted for these types of weapons
2
  Examples of "Other" weapons include legal knives, slingshots, and sharp objects.
3
  Examples of "Other" family compositions include single parent and grandparent or other relative, and single parent and non-relative.
*** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05
Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.
       Only one type of weapon was significantly related to students’ family
composition. This relationship indicated that 13.8% of students living in single parent
families reported having an illegal knife at school within the past year, compared to 7%
of students living with both parents, 4.3% of students living in a reconstituted family, and
3.4% of students living in other family arrangements.


      4.0 CONTACT WITH AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE POLICE AND
              SUGGESTIONS FOR ENHANCING SCHOOL
                    AND COMMUNITY SAFETY
      Students were asked a number of questions dealing with the extent of their
contact with the police within the past year and their perceptions of how the police are
performing various components of their job. In addition, respondents were asked how
they thought their schools and communities could be made safer. This section
summarizes the results relevant to these items.


4.1    Contact with the Police

       Students were asked whether they had various types of contact with the police
within the past year both at school and not at school. The proportion of students who
reported each type of contact is presented in Table 4.1. Overall, students were
considerably more likely to report having contact with the police at school than
elsewhere. The most frequent type of contact students reported at school was for a
presentation on preventing youth crime and violence (60.1%), followed by a
presentation on personal safety (56%) and to report a crime that happened at school
(18.9%). The most frequent type of contact with police that students reported while not
at school was as a witness to a crime (18.4%), followed by to report a crime that
happened while not at school (17.3%) and to ask for information or advice (13.8%).

                                                TABLE 4.1

          NUMBER OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED VARIOUS TYPES OF CONTACT
            WITH THE POLICE AT SCHOOL AND NOT AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR



                      Type of Contact                             At School           Not at School
                                                             n                  % n                   %
 Presentation on Preventing Youth Crime and Violence        448               60.1  75              10.1
 Presentation on Personal Safety                            417               56.0  69               9.3
 To Report a Crime that Happened at School                  141               18.9  92              12.3
 To Report a Crime that Happened While Not at School         77               10.3 129              17.3
 Witness to a Crime                                          87               11.7 137              18.4
 To Ask for Information or Advice                           127               17.0 103              13.8
 Other Reason                                                24                3.2  56               7.5

 Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.



                                                   19
4.2    Perceptions of Police Performance

       Students were asked to rate their perceptions of the performance of police on
various aspects of their job on a scale ranging from very good through good, fair, and
very poor. These ratings are presented in Table 4.2.

                                          TABLE 4.2

        RATINGS OF CALGARY STUDENTS CONCERNING HOW WELL THEY THINK
         THE POLICE ARE PERFORMING VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF THEIR JOB



        Job Component               Very Good      Good         Fair         Very Poor
                                     n       % n         % n           %     n        %
 Enforcing the Law                  130    17.4 444    59.6 155      20.8    16      2.1
 Dealing with Problems that          83    11.1 284    38.1 292      39.2    86     11.5
   Concern Young People
 Preventing Crime in School         127     17.0   327   43.9   226   30.3   65      8.7
 Preventing Crime in Community      125     16.8   375   50.3   188   25.2   57      7.7
 Prevention Education               109     14.6   350   47.0   221   29.7   65      8.7
 Helping Young People Who           130     17.4   369   49.5   186   25.0   60      8.1
   Have Been Crime Victims
 Keeping Schools Safe               130     17.4   359   48.2   201   27.0  55       7.4
 Making Community Safe              147     19.7   421   56.5   149   20.0  28       3.8
 Treating Youth Politely            114     15.3   278   37.3   211   28.3 142      19.1
 Treating Youth Fairly              106     14.2   297   39.9   215   28.9 127      17.0
 Being Available When Needed        142     19.1   336   45.1   209   28.1  58       7.8

 Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.

      Overall, students’ ratings of police performance were quite positive, and in all but
one job component, over 50% of students rated performance as either good or very
good. For example, 77% of students rated the police as doing either a good or very
good job of enforcing the law, 60.9% rated the police either good or very good on
preventing crime in school, and 64.2% rated the police as either good or very good on
being available when needed.

       The job components that received the most negative ratings were those
specifically dealing with youth: 50.7% of students indicated that the police were doing
either a fair or very poor job of dealing with the problems that concern young people and
45.9% of respondents rated the police either fair or very poor on treating youth fairly.

4.3    Suggestions for Enhancing School and Community Safety

     Students were asked to write-in any suggestions that they had for how their
school and community could be made safer. The ten most commonly provided
responses are contained in Tables 4.3 and 4.4.

                                                20
                                           TABLE 4.3

           MOST FREQUENT RESPONSES OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHEN ASKED
                WHAT COULD BE DONE TO MAKE THEIR SCHOOL SAFER



                                Comment                            n              %
 School Is Safe/Things Are Fine                                     78          10.5
 More Police                                                        42           5.6
 More Severe Punishment/Consequences for Misbehaving/Truancy        29           3.9
 Zero Tolerance/Tougher YOA/Stricter Laws and Rules                 28           3.8
 Metal Detectors                                                    27           3.6
 Better Security/Monitoring of Entrances/Exits                      23           3.1
 More Surveillance Cameras                                          22           3.0
 More Student Supervision                                           18           2.4
 More School Resource Officers                                      12           1.6
 More Teacher/General Awareness                                     10           1.3

 Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.

        The most common response with respect to what could be done to make schools
safer was that nothing was needed – the school already is safe (10.5%). The next most
common responses included having more police officers (5.6%), having more severe
punishments for misbehaviour (3.9%), and imposing zero tolerance policies and having
stricter laws and rules (3.8%). Other responses were given by a relatively small number
of students.
                                           TABLE 4.4

           MOST FREQUENT RESPONSES OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHEN ASKED
              WHAT COULD BE DONE TO MAKE THEIR COMMUNITY SAFER



                                  Comment                          n              %
 More Patrols Driving Around - Weekends, Nights                    92           12.4
 It Is Safe/Things Are Fine                                        68            9.1
 More Police Officers                                              65            8.7
 Block Watch: More People/More Watches                             31            4.2
 Tougher YOA/Stricter Laws, Rules, Punishment                      27            3.6
 Curfews                                                           12            1.6
 Better Street Lighting/More House/Porch Lighting                  11            1.5
 Everyone Watch Out for Everyone Else/Helping/Caring                 9           1.2
 Police Substation/Neighbourhood Station                             7           0.9
 More People Get Involved/More Volunteers                            7           0.9

 Source of Data: Calgary Student Survey; Total N=745.

     The most common response given when asked what could be done to make their
community safer was to have more patrol cars on the streets – particularly at night and
on weekends (12.4%). The next most common responses were that the community

                                                21
already is safe and that nothing was needed (9.1%), more police officers were needed
(8.7%), and that more people needed to become involved with Block Watch (4.2%).


              5.0 COMPARISON OF 1994 AND 1999 RESULTS
        As noted above, a study similar to the present one was conducted by CRILF in
1994. The survey used in the current study was based upon the instrument used in the
1994 project and thus affords the ability to examine changes in selected types of
victimization and delinquency across this five-year period. It should be noted that
certain items were modified on the survey used in the current study and, for this reason,
not all forms of victimization and delinquency can be compared across studies. Only
comparable data are discussed in this section. In addition, it should be noted that some
demographic characteristics of the sample (i.e., gender, number of students in junior
high) in the present study differed slightly from those in the 1994 study. There is no
reason to suspect that these differences have substantially affected the comparability of
data from the two studies.

5.1   Victimization

       Figure 5.1 presents a comparison of selected forms of victimization occurring at
school for the 1994 and 1999 studies. It is readily apparent that all forms of
victimization have declined across this period, in some cases quite dramatically. For
example, substantial decreases were observed for having something damaged on
purpose (43.6% in 1994 compared to 16.1% in 1999), having something stolen (55.6%
in 1994 compared to 23% in 1999), and being sexually touched against one’s will
(17.6% in 1994 compared to 5.4% in 1999).

        Figure 5.2 presents a comparison of the same types of victimization occurring
while not at school across the 1994 and 1999 studies. The findings are quite similar to
those obtained for victimization not at school, and indicate a substantial decline in
prevalence of victimization for most types assessed, although in some instances the
decline is not as dramatic as seen with victimization at school. Considerable decreases
in victimization rates while not at school were obtained for having something stolen
(38.6% in 1994 compared to 16.9% in 1999), being threatened with harm (31%
compared to 16.2%), and being threatened with a weapon (12.6% in 1994 compared to
5% in 1999).




                                           22
                                                                                                    FIGURE 5.1

                                 COMPARISON OF PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED BEING
                                VICTIMIZED WHILE AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR, BY YEAR DATA COLLECTED

                60
                                                55.6


                50
                         43.6
                                                                                          42.3
                                                                                                                                                                1994 Data
                40                                                                                         37.1                                                 1999 Data
Percentage




                30
                                                                                                                  24.4
                                                          23                                       23

                20                                                                                                                                                                               17.6
                                 16.1
                                                                       14.8                                                                                                14.2


                10                                                                                                              8.2
                                                                              6.2                                                                    6                                                   5.4
                                                                                                                                           1.9                1.9                   2.3

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             Multiple response items.
             1994 Data Total N = 962; 1999 Data Total N = 745.
                                                                                                   FIGURE 5.2

                               COMPARISON OF PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED BEING
                                       VICTIMIZED WHILE NOT AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR,
                                                     BY YEAR DATA COLLECTED
                45

                40                            38.6


                35
                                                                                         31
                        30.1                                                                                                                                1994 Data
                30                                                                                                                                          1999 Data
                                                                                                         27.1
Percentage




                25

                20                                                                                               18
                                                       16.9                                      16.2
                               15.2                                                                                                                                    14.5                   14.3
                15                                                                                                            12.6
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                10                                                                                                                             7.2
                                                                                                                                                                                                      6.4
                                                                            5.5                                                        5
                 5                                                                                                                                        2.8


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                Multiple response items.
                1994 Data Total N = 962; 1999 Data Total N = 745.
5.2   Delinquent Behaviour

       Changes in selected forms of delinquent behaviour were also examined and the
results are presented in Figure 5.3. For the most part, the findings are similar to those
obtained with victimization, and indicate a decline in all types of delinquent behaviour
but one, although the decline in general is not as substantial as observed with
victimization. For example, the proportion of students who indicated that they had
damaged someone’s property on purpose within the past year was 16.9% in 1994
compared to 14% in 1999. The most substantial declines in prevalence of delinquency
were observed with stealing something with a group of friends (18.8% in 1994
compared to 10.3% in 1999), threatening to harm someone (28.6% in 1994 compared
to 18% in 1999), and fought with a group of friends (20.7% in 1994 compared to 13.6%
in 1999).

       One type of delinquent behaviour, slapped, punched, or kicked someone in
anger, showed a slight increase across the period (35.9% in 1994 compared to 37.2%
in 1999). This is an interesting finding when one considers that the victimization rates
for being slapped, punched, or kicked showed a decline both at school and while not at
school. This pattern suggests that there may a group of young people that is being
repeatedly victimized.


5.3   Weapons

       The proportion of students who reported carrying various weapons at school or
having them in their locker was also examined across the two studies, and the findings
are shown in Figure 5.4. In line with the victimization and delinquency results, the
prevalence of having each type of weapon at school declined across this period. In
1994, 28% of students stated that they had at least one type of weapon at school within
the past year; this figure declined to 16.5% in 1999. The specific types of weapons that
showed the greatest decline were illegal knives (15.9% in 1994 compared to 7.9% in
1999), homemade weapons (11.6% in 1994 compared to 3.5% in 1999), and clubs or
bats (9.1% in 1994 compared to 2.8% in 1999).

        The type of weapon that showed the smallest decrease in prevalence was those
classified into the “other” category. Most of these represent objects that, on their own,
would not be considered illegal to carry, but could be used to harm someone. One
possible explanation for this finding is that students have become more reluctant to
carry objects at school that are clearly intended to be used as weapons and thus would
be considered illegal, but that students who wish to have weapons at school are
resorting to carrying objects that may appear to have a more ambiguous purpose.




                                           25
                                                                                                                FIGURE 5.3

                             COMPARISON OF PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED ENGAGING IN
                                DELINQUENT BEHAVIOURS WITHIN THE PAST YEAR, BY YEAR DATA COLLECTED

                   40
                                                                                                                                                                  37.2
                                                                                                                                                           35.9
                                                                                                                                                                                              1994 Data
                   35
                                            30.7
                                                                                                                                                                                              1999 Data
                   30                              28.6                                                                                        28.6


                   25
Percentage




                                                                                                                                                                                     20.7
                   20                                                          18.8
                                                                                                                                                      18
                         16.9
                                 14                                                                                                                                                         13.6
                   15
                                                                                      10.3
                                                              9.4
                   10                                                                                             7.7                8.4
                                                                                                                                                                         7.2
                                                                                                                          5.5              6
                                                                     4.7                       4.2
                   5                                                                                                                                                           3.6
                                                                                                       2.6                                                                                         2   1.7

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             Multiple response items.
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                                                                                                FIGURE 5.4

                                   COMPARISON OF PERCENTAGE OF CALGARY STUDENTS WHO REPORTED HAVING A
                                      WEAPON AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR, BY YEAR DATA COLLECTED

                    30
                             28


                    25
                                                                                                                                             1994 Data
                                                                                                                                             1999 Data
                    20
                                    16.5
Percentage




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                                                                                              Type of Weapon

             Multiple response items except for "Any Type of Weapon."
             * Total N = 956 for 1994 Data.
             ** Examples of "Other Weapon" include legal knives, slingshots, and sharp objects.
             1994 Data Total N = 962; 1999 Data Total N = 745.
5.4       Conclusion

        The decline in victimization and delinquency among youth in Calgary during the five
years between 1994 and 1999 is clearly good news and is consistent with rates of reported
youth crime across Canada.5 It is difficult to determine what this decline can be attributed
to with certainty, but it is likely that a number of factors have contributed to it. There has
certainly been a general increase in the awareness of youth crime and violence and their
consequences among both adults and young persons themselves in recent years. Also,
several highly publicized and very serious incidents involving youth have occurred in
Calgary and elsewhere within the past few years and these have generated a public outcry
against youth violence. It is likely this has led to a lower tolerance for incidents of youth
victimization and delinquency, which has served a preventive function for some incidents.
Also, an increase in prevention and intervention programming efforts by the police and
other social agencies have likely proved effective in reducing youth victimization and
delinquency. For example, as a direct result of the 1994 study conducted by CRILF, the
Calgary Police Service instituted the Youth Education and Intervention program, consisting
of officers who serve as a direct liaison with all elementary and junior high schools and who
focus on early intervention, education, and enforcement. This initiative has undoubtedly
served to reduce youth victimization and delinquency in these schools.

       It is also clear, however, that the problem of youth crime and violence still exists.
The levels of victimization and delinquency found in this study are still unacceptable and
further prevention and intervention efforts are needed. Additional research that identifies
the most effective ways of dealing with these issues would be most useful in further
reducing crime and violence among young people.




5
    Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (1999). Youth Violent Crime. Juristat, 19(13).


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