Violent crimes in Montreal way up in 2018: annual police report

Sylvain Caron, SPVM Police Chief. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The number of violent crimes against people in Montreal is up in almost every category, according to the SPVM 2018 annual report. Still, the president of Montreal’s Public Security Commission stresses that the city is still one of the safest in North America.

Montreal police Chief Sylvain Caron presented the findings before the Public Security Commission Tuesday Morning.

Murders are up 33 per cent compared to 2017. Attempted murders increased by 19 per cent. Assault is up 4.8 per cent. Sexual assault increased by 2.8 per cent over 2017.

READ MORE: Sexual assault cases spiked in 2017: Montreal police annual report

And in many of the violent crime cases — the trend has been on the rise in recent years.

According to Public Security Commission President Alex Norris, the new police chief has the right approach: “Get tough when one needs to get tough.”

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Despite the increase in violent crime, Norris says Montreal remains one of the safest cities in North America.

“We have one of the lowest violent crime rates and crime rates in general,” he said.

Norris added that most of the murders and attempted murders are being solved.

“Mr. Caron cited, I believe it was 60 per cent of murders have been solved and over 70 per cent of attempted murders are solved,” he added.

READ MORE: Sylvain Caron sworn in as new Montreal police chief

While violent crimes against people have increased, crime against property is on the decline.

Arson dropped 13 per cent between 2018 and 2017. Breaking and entering has dropped 19 per cent and auto theft dropped by almost 10 per cent.

Norris is confident the new police chief is on the right track. “I think Mr. Caron is doing what need to be done,” he said.  Sylvain Caron was sworn in as police chief December 12, 2018.

Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere also sits on the Montreal Public Security Commission.

He would like to see officers work more closely in the community.

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“I would like to see more presence of the police on the West Island on a regular basis. Not just when we need them but there should be a bigger presence all the time,” Belvedere said.

The SPVM staff was 4,557 in 2018 with the majority, 3,373 of them officers. All statistics can be found online.

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