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Distribution of crime on the Island of Montréal
While incidents were reported in 520 of the 521 CTs on the Island, a closer look at the distribution of incidents reveals that reported crime is not evenly dispersed across the island (Table 1). Map 1 shows the spatial distribution of criminal incidents on the Island, each point representing a criminal incident. This map shows a concentration of criminal incidents in some areas of the Island, such as the city centre, whereas in other areas, criminal incidents are quite rare. This map also provides a first indication of the relationship between crime and land use. In fact, some of the areas where there are few criminal offences, such as Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Airport and the lands occupied by petroleum industries in the east end of the Island, are relatively inaccessible and in some cases access is controlled.
Map 2 and Map 3 show the location of clusters of violent and property incidents, or crime "hot spots". The first map shows that the neighbourhoods with the highest relative densities of violent crime are in the city centre, Verdun, Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Montréal-Nord, Rosemont–La-Petite-Patrie and Villeray–St-Michel–Parc–Extension. Property crimes are highly and almost exclusively concentrated in the city centre. Hot spots outside the city centre are located in the Island's large shopping malls and at Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Airport. Maps showing the location of hot spots within the city for selected types of offences are provided in Appendix A.
Map 2. Kernel density distribution of violent crime incidents and population at risk, Montréal, 2001
Map 3. Kernel density distribution of property crime incidents and population at risk, Montréal, 2001
Crime on the Island is concentrated in a relatively small number of neighbourhoods. In fact, about 20% of violent crime incidents reported in 2001 took place in 7% of the CTs, and 20% of reported property crime incidents occurred in 4% of the CTs. Other studies have also noted this concentration (Sherman, Gartin and Buerger 1989; Brantingham and Brantingham 1982; Fitzgerald, Wisener and Savoie 2004; Wallace 2006). However, the distribution of the major offence categories in Montréal exhibits a general pattern that is different from what was observed in Winnipeg and Regina, where violent offences were highly concentrated in the city centre and property offences occurred in a number of hot spots. Montréal has several pockets of poverty, in contrast to the Western Canadian cities, where poverty is highly concentrated in the city centre (Heisz 2005). This finding underlines the importance of studying the specific dynamics of each community. The multivariate analysis presented further on in this report explores more fully the role of poverty in the spatial distribution of crime in Montréal.