The clearance rate represents the proportion of criminal incidents solved by the police. Police can clear an incident by charge or by means other than the laying of a charge. A weighted clearance rate assigns values to crimes according to their seriousness, with more serious crimes being given a higher statistical "weight". (Example: a homicide is rated at a higher value than a minor theft). The severity of an offence is determined using average sentences handed down by Canadian criminal courts. On average, overall weighted clearance rates are slightly lower than overall clearance rates. This is due to the fact that certain serious, relatively high-volume offences such as robbery and break-ins have lower-than-average clearance rates compared with other violent and non-violent crimes.