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One has to wonder how much worse it will be when gang stats start to come into the picture. (Emphasis mine.)

From the Edmonton Journal Page A6

August 28, 2007

The case of a 14-year-old Manitoba boy charged with killing his mother and four-year-old sister last week follows a spike in murders committed by young people across Canada last year.

In 2006, the rate of young people accused of homicide was the highest since 1961, when data were first collected: A total of 84 youths aged 12 to 17 faced charges — 19 more than in 2005. Homicide charges include manslaughter, first- and second-degree murder. Another 69 youths were charged with attempted murder last year.

A man returned to his home in St. Lazare, Man., on Friday to find the bodies of his 43-year-old wife and young daughter on the kitchen floor, covered with a blanket. The couple’s son has been charged with second-degree murder.

The statistics concerning young people and violent crime also reveal other trends. Though 83 young people were charged with homicide last year, only 54 people were killed as a result, one expert noted. That likely means more victims are being swarmed, said Rosemary Gartner, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre of Criminology. “Either that or police are changing their methods — maybe they’re choosing to charge more people at the scene.”

The spike can’t necessarily be blamed on increased gang activity, Gartner said — in part because police only started recording gang involvement in youth crime three to four years ago. The main culprit is more kids selling drugs, said Len Untereiner with Edmonton’s Spirit Keeper Youth Society.

“The spike in youth homicides is coming from the need to get money to buy drugs,” said Untereiner, who tries to get young aboriginals in Edmonton’s inner city out of gangs.

“From what I see, young gang members get killed by others who want their (drug) market share, or when they start using the product and they owe higher-ups money.”
 

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One has to wonder how much worse it will be when gang stats start to come into the picture.

From the Edmonton Journal Page A6

August 28, 2007

The case of a 14-year-old Manitoba boy charged with killing his mother and four-year-old sister last week follows a spike in murders committed by young people across Canada last year.

In 2006, the rate of young people accused of homicide was the highest since 1961, when data were first collected: A total of 84 youths aged 12 to 17 faced charges — 19 more than in 2005. Homicide charges include manslaughter, first- and second-degree murder. Another 69 youths were charged with attempted murder last year.

A man returned to his home in St. Lazare, Man., on Friday to find the bodies of his 43-year-old wife and young daughter on the kitchen floor, covered with a blanket. The couple’s son has been charged with second-degree murder.

The statistics concerning young people and violent crime also reveal other trends. Though 83 young people were charged with homicide last year, only 54 people were killed as a result, one expert noted. That likely means more victims are being swarmed, said Rosemary Gartner, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre of Criminology. “Either that or police are changing their methods — maybe they’re choosing to charge more people at the scene.”

The spike can’t necessarily be blamed on increased gang activity, Gartner said — in part because police only started recording gang involvement in youth crime three to four years ago. The main culprit is more kids selling drugs, said Len Untereiner with Edmonton’s Spirit Keeper Youth Society.

“The spike in youth homicides is coming from the need to get money to buy drugs,” said Untereiner, who tries to get young aboriginals in Edmonton’s inner city out of gangs.

“From what I see, young gang members get killed by others who want their (drug) market share, or when they start using the product and they owe higher-ups money.”
Next....
 

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It is a very specific measure ("rate of youths accused of homicide") and is national. Some digging is warranted given the specificity and the fact that we're dealing with relatively small numbers (ie. volatile data).

The source:
http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-002-XIE/85-002-XIE2007005.pdf

Page 14 has a handy table, but does not provide a historical time series.

I found these quotes from StatsCan:
"A total of 65 young people aged 12 to 17 were accused of homicide in 2005, 21 more than the previous year. The rate of youth accused hit its highest point in more than a decade last year."

"There were 57 youths aged 12 to 17 years accused of homicide in 2003, 15 more than in 2002 and 8 more than the previous 10-year average."

The series appears to be quite volatile: 83, 65, 44, 57, 42 and an average of 49 for most of the 1990s.
 

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Convicted??
 

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Well, among my circle of youths, no one has been murdered.
 

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Some truth in that.

Scientific evidence
What is the evidence for this direct link between hot temperature and aggressive behavior? It comes from several very different kinds of studies. Social psychologists have shown in laboratory experiments that simply being in a hot room makes people feel angrier than being in a comfortable room. Aggressive thoughts also increase. Other laboratory research has shown that hot temperatures can, when coupled with provocation, increase a persons willingness to hurt another person. Other research supporting the link between heat and violence shows that regional differences in violent crime rates are related to regional differences in ambient temperature. Many studies some going back to crime records in several European countries gathered in the last century show that hotter regions of a country tend to have higher violent crime rates. Interestingly, nonviolent crimes do not tend to show this same hot region increase in criminality. A study in the April 1996 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 70, No. 4, 740�56 on regional differences in violent crime rates in large U.S. cities ruled out many other potential causes of heat effect on violent crime, such as poverty, population size and regional cultures supportive of violence. The study found that U.S. cities with hotter climates have higher violent crime rates.

Other research has found that hotter days, months and seasons produce higher-than-normal crime rates. The December 1997 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 73, No. 6, 1213�223 reported on two studies that examined the relation between hotness of year and violent crime rate in the United States from 1950 to 1995. One study found that summer produced more violent crime murders and assaults than the other seasons. If high temperature was a direct cause of the summer effect, then years with more hot days (days in which the maximum temperature is at least 90F) would have somewhat larger increases in murder and assault than years with fewer hot days. This prediction was confirmed by the data.

A second study examined the relation between the average temperature for each year and the corresponding murder and assault rate for the same 46-year period. If hot temperatures have a direct effect on violent behavior, then hotter years should (on average) produce higher violent crime rates. This is exactly what happened. The combined murder-and-assault rate was consistently higher in hotter years than in cooler ones. These results occurred even when the data were statistically controlled for the poverty rate, age shifts in the U.S. population and the general upward drift of violent crime during the period.
Will global warming inflame our tempers?
 
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