The crime rate in Montréal has dropped by 29% over the last 10 years, and by an astounding 42% over the last 15. This reduction is higher than the Canadian and Quebec averages. More specifically, in Montréal in 2008:
Road safety: an encouraging safety record
Three years ago, the SPVM adopted a vision and a five-year action plan to improve safety on the roads of Montréal. The positive repercussions of the daily application of the plan are still being felt.
In 2008, we noticed that pedestrians are becoming more prudent. The number of pedestrian deaths declined by 25% in comparison with 2007. The proportion of pedestrians in all traffic deaths was still 54.5%, however, and for this reason the SPVM intends to step up efforts to improve pedestrian behaviour in 2009.
For cyclists, on the other hand, and despite a reduction in the number of deaths, there was unfortunately an increase of seven serious injuries (+ 22.2%). Cyclists' needs have changed, and their travel patterns are evolving. There are more and more cyclists on Ville de Montréal roads and bicycle paths. The growing popularity of cycling, especially as a practical means of transportation, probably played a role in the increase in injuries.
To take this new direction in stride, the SPVM will have to focus greater intervention efforts on these road users.
Significant drop in violent street-gang crime
In 2008, the Ville de Montréal was given a five-year $37.5-million grant by the governments to combat certain types of crime, including street gang crime. This financial assistance allowed the SPVM to add more front-line officers and establish a new police team - the ÉCLIPSE group - whose mandate is to support SPVM units in their fight against crime.
Overall, statistics show a clear decrease in crimes related to street gangs:
Crime in general
The crime statistics for 2008 indicate that the downward trend of 2007 is continuing. For example, there were 29 homicides and 70 attempted homicides on the island of Montréal, compared to 41 and 99 respectively in 2007, a decline of 30%.
The homicide solve rate in 2008 was 83%. In addition, the SPVM recovered 1365 firearms (seized, amnestied, found) of which 715 were related to crimes.
A reassuring presence in the metro
For more than 20 months now, the SPVM Division du réseau transport en commun has been accompanying Montrealers on their travels around the city and offering a reassuring presence to the users and employees of the STM network.
The officers of the Section métro de Montréal and the neighbourhood stations (PDQs) patrol the metro stations in the island of Montréal every day on foot. They rely on the support of the members of the canine unit and the task forces. When problems are identified, police visibility plans and intervention plans are quickly implemented, in cooperation with the PDQs and the regional Services à la communauté. Officers from the Section métro also respond to calls in the metro network.
Major prevention efforts have been focused enforcing laws and regulations and encouraging respectful behaviour among public transit users. In total, 1902 misdemeanours and Criminal Code infractions were reported inside and around Montréal metro stations in 2008. This is a drop of 8% compared to 2007.
The increase in police surveillance is an important factor behind this drop in crime. The stations most often patrolled by police officers posted the greatest decreases in their crime rate.
The public is reminded that the Info-Crime Montréal telephone line, 514 393-1133, is an effective way to share information anonymously and confidentially with the police. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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