Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Homicide Dropped Last Year, Rate Hits 1966 Level, Statistics Canada Reports

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Homicide Dropped Last Year, Rate Hits 1966 Level, Statistics Canada Reports

Article excerpt

Homicide rate down to 1966 level last year

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OTTAWA - The country's homicide rate fell last year to 1.44 victims for every 100,000 people, its lowest level since 1966, Statistics Canada reported Monday.

The agency said the 2013 rate was eight per cent lower than in 2012.

That follows reports that the overall crime rate also declined in 2013 compared with 2012, falling eight per cent to its lowest level since 1969. Statistics Canada said last summer that the crime rate was continuing a long-term, downward trend that began in the early 1990s.

But the drop in murders and a falling crime rate overall haven't deflected the Harper government from its tough-on-crime agenda.

And there remain concerns about the cost of fighting crime, even as the incidence falls.

The Fraser Institute reported in September that police costs have soared even as crime falls.

"Between 2001 and 2012, police officers per 100,000 of population in Canada rose 8.7 per cent while the crime rate declined by 26.3 per cent," the institute's report said.

And while police cost more, their workload dropped, the report added.

"Real per capita police expenditures in Canada between 1986 and 2012 rose 45.5 per cent while Criminal Code incidents per officer declined by 36.8 per cent."

The latest statistics say police reported 505 homicides in 2013, down 38 from the previous year.

In comparison, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation says there were more than 14,000 homicides in the United States in 2013 for a rate of 4.5 for every 100,000 population -- more than three times the Canadian rate.

Statistics Canada attributes the overall decrease in homicides in 2013 to a drop of 40 deaths reported in Quebec after two years of higher-than-average numbers of homicides in the province.

Quebec reported 68 homicides in 2013, representing a rate of 0.83 per 100,000 population, the lowest rate recorded in the province since reporting began in 1961.

Six provinces reported modest increases in the number of homicides in 2013, although even with those increases, the homicide rates in nearly every province and territory were below their 10-year averages in 2013.

The exceptions were Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, where the 2013 homicide rates were above their previous 10-year average. …

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