Crime continues to decline

The murder rate increased slightly, but the overall crime rate and the violent crime rate declined in 2011.

Police reported over 424,400 incidents of violent crime in 2011, about 14,800 fewer than in 2010. As in previous years, violent crimes accounted for about 1 in 5 offences reported by police. Both the rate and severity of violent crime fell 4% in 2011. It was the fifth consecutive annual decline in the severity of violent crime. 

Despite the overall drop in violent crime, Canada’s homicide rate rose 7% in 2011 to 1.7 homicides per 100,000 population. Police reported 598 homicides in 2011, 44 more than in 2010. Despite annual fluctuations, the homicide rate has generally been declining since peaking in the mid-1970s. The national increase in homicides in 2011 was driven by increases in Alberta and Quebec. Manitoba had the highest homicide rate among the provinces for the fifth consecutive year.

The rate of robbery declined 3% in 2011, continuing a downward trend. Police reported over 29,700 robberies, 700 fewer than in 2010. Rates declined for attempted murder (-3%) and for most types of assault, including sexual assault (-3%).