Over the past decade, youth crime has been on the decline. However, the rate of violent crime committed by youth is on the rise.
Youth accounted for 9% of all persons accused of homicide in 2013, though some characteristics of homicides involving youth accused differed from those involving adult accused. For example, 30% of youth accused of homicide were accused in a gang-related incident, compared to 9% of adults.
*Since 2003, there have been 7 children (under the age of 12) accused of homicide in Canada. While a small number of children have been accused of homicide over this period, it is important to note that, in Canada, children under the age of 12 cannot be held criminally responsible for homicide, or any other criminal offence.
In Canada a separate justice system exists for youth 12 – 17 yrs. and adults 18 yrs. and older. Upon reviewing national statistics youth and young adults who are charged with the offence of violating the Criminal Code have decreased. The criminal justice system opted to deal with offences through the use of warnings, cautions and referrals to community programs.