Montreal murders hit all-time low in 2017, but solving rate remains worst in Canada

Montreal recorded its lowest number of homicides in 2017 than in any year since island-wide statistics began being compiled 46 years ago—but the solving rate remains dead last among police forces in Canada, according to Statistics Canada data.

There were 22 murders recorded during 2017 around the island, the lowest number in a year in at least the past four decades.

Another two cases from 2016, initially described as suspicious deaths, were also changed to homicide investigations this year.

Last year, Montreal set a then-record of 23 homicides in a year.

While homicide rates peaked in the 1970s, data shows the current median number of homicides per year during the 2010s is consistent with those of the 1960s.

Montreal may see less murders now than it once did, but one thing has remained the same: the solving rate for cases remains dead last among regional police forces in Canada.

The solving rate for murders in 2017 was about 58 per cent, even lower than our annual average of 65 per cent, which itself is last among regional police forces in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. 

For example, the larger city of Toronto clears 75 per cent of its murder cases, and the Greater Sudbury Area in Ontario solves nearly 97 per cent of reported murders—the best rate in the country.

Vancouver, of comparable size to Montreal, solves about 68 per cent of murders in the city.

Laval fares a little better than its southern island neighbour, solving about 67 per cent of murder cases.

Among Montreal's unsolved cases are those linked to organized crime.