Sharp increase in violent crimes, homicides in Montreal last year: SPVM report

“What we see in the report for us is not necessarily a surprise,” said city official Alain Vaillancourt, describing the higher rate of attempted murders and homicides in Montreal last year, according to the SPVM's 2021 annual report.

The Montreal police’s 2021 annual report shows the number of homicides and attempted murders increased dramatically on the island.

There were 36 homicides last year – 11 more than 2020. Half of those involved firearms.

It’s also an increase of 39.5 per cent when compared to the five-year average.

The total number of crimes where gunshots were fired was 144 last year, more than twice the number recorded in 2020.

Montreal police seized 628 firearms in 2021 – 116 fewer than the year before.


Reported sexual assaults also increased significantly, growing by 32 per cent in 2021 compared to the five-year average – at more 2,300 incidents last year.

And more than 25,000 crimes against individuals were reported in 2021, up 17.3 per cent when compared to the five-year average.

“We know there was an increase in violence throughout all cities in North America, so what we see in the report for us is not necessarily a surprise,” said Alain Vaillancourt, the city’s executive committee member for public security.

“If you look at all the other crime statistics overall and you compare yourself, Montreal does remain safe.”

Montreal also saw more than 6,500 car thefts reported to police in 2021, compared to 4,700 in 2020.

Vaillancourt says programs have been put in place to reduce crime.

“In the last year, we’ve put a lot of efforts,” he said. “We’ve increased the police budget… We know that the ELTA (Équipe dédiée à la lutte contre le trafic d’armes) team took away more than 700 handguns just last year in Montreal territory.”

Vaillancourt says the city is in the process of hiring 250 more police officers. It’s unclear how many of those are replacements for officers who have retired or resigned.

“What I’m telling Montrealers is that a lot of stuff is being done that we don’t necessarily see, and we’re seeing results for,” he said.


The city’s Opposition said more cops are desperately needed. Critic Abdelhaq Sari, with Ensemble Montreal, questioned if the Valérie Plante administration read the same report as they did.

“The first thing to have to change, that is, it is our city’s problem first,” said Sari. “And we don’t have to send the buck to Quebec City and to Ottawa also. And we should have to be conscious of this problem. We have to resolve it and to work with all organizations and to work with all the boroughs and also work with police departments.”

The SPVM is set to present the complete 2021 report to Montreal’s public security officials on Wednesday.

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