Incidents occur most during school hours, researchers find

It’s 12 o’clock — noon that is, not midnight — do you know where your children are?

Researchers conducted a study on youth crime in Calgary and were shocked to find out most youth crime is being perpetrated between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. — when kids are supposed to be in school.


Leslie MacRae, lead researcher for the Canadian Research Institute for Law and Family said the results were surprising.

"We expected most crimes to be committed at night time. I think that is the first thing that comes to mind so we weren’t expecting the statistics to prove otherwise," she said.

The results came from a study conducted on 123 youth offenders in the system and an overall look on youth crime in 2006 which shows only 2.7 per cent of Calgary’s youth committing crime.

In 2006, there were just over 6,000 youth criminal offences involving just over 2,000 youth aged 12 to 17. Approximately 76,862 youth lived in the city that year.

Calgary Police community and youth services Insp. Bob Couture said the study will help agencies and the community target specific areas in preventing youth crime.

"The best way to get youth out of the system is to prevent them from getting in and that starts at a younger age. We need to be targeting these kids prior to age 12," Couture said.

Youth worker Carla Bertsch agrees that more work needs to be done with kids at a younger age, but also adds that it starts at home with parents.

"The biggest thing parents can do is spend time with their kids. They need to teach them right from wrong and lead by example," Bertsch told Metro.

Bertsch has worked with troubled youth for seven years and said parents should also get to know their children’s friends.

"They should ask questions and get to know them, ask them what they are doing and know where they are because bad influences often start with the friends."

>> To view the study results please visit

next phase

  • The first phase of the study cost the city $75,000 and the total after the entire study is conducted is expected to reach $350,000. The next phase will follow the 123 youths at 12 and 24 month intervals to check see how they are doing.

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