Homicide in Canada, 2013: highlights

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  • Police reported 505 homicides in Canada in 2013, 38 fewer than the previous year. Compared to 2012, the homicide rate decreased 8% to 1.44 victims per 100,000 population, the lowest rate since 1966.
  • The decline in Canada’s homicide rate was due to considerably fewer homicides in Quebec. There were 68 homicides in Quebec in 2013, 40 fewer than in 2012, resulting in the lowest rate ever recorded in that province (0.83 per 100,000 population).
  • Although six provinces reported increases in the number of homicides from 2012 to 2013, only Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island recorded homicide rates that were higher than their previous ten-year average.
  • Generally, homicide rates were highest in the West and the North. Manitoba had the highest provincial homicide rate (3.87 per 100,000 population), followed by Saskatchewan (2.71), Alberta (2.04), and British Columbia (1.66). While Nunavut (11.24) and the Northwest Territories (4.59) reported homicide rates higher than any province, there were no homicides in Yukon for the third consecutive year.
  • Regina reported the highest homicide rate among Canada’s census metropolitan areas (3.84 per 100,000 population), followed by Winnipeg (3.24) and Thunder Bay (2.46). No homicides were reported in Moncton, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Peterborough, or Guelph.
  • While stabbings (40%) and shootings (27%) remained the two most common methods for committing homicide in 2013, compared with 2012, there were 41 fewer shootings and 31 more stabbings in Canada. The decrease in shootings resulted in the lowest rate of firearm homicide in over 40 years (0.37 per 100,000 population).
  • After remaining stable for the past three years, gang-related homicides decreased in 2013. At 0.24 per 100,000 population, the gang-related homicide rate was at its lowest point since 2004.
  • Consistent with previous years, most solved homicides involved a victim being killed by someone they knew. In 2013, this was the case for nearly 9 in 10 (87%) victims.
  • There were 68 intimate partner homicides in 2013, 14 fewer than in the previous year. The majority (82%) of victims of intimate partner homicides were female, as has been the case historically.
  • Males are more commonly involved in homicide as both victims (71%) and as accused persons (88%).
  • Youth (aged 12 to 17) accounted for about 1 in 10 (9%) of all persons accused of homicide in 2013. There were 39 youth accused of homicide in 2013, four more than in the previous year.
  • About three-quarters (76%) of homicides since 2003 have been solved by police. Of those, more than two-thirds (69%) were solved within one week of occurring, and about one-quarter (26%) were solved within 8 to 364 days. The remainder (5%) were solved one year or more after occurring.
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