According to the data published by Statistics Canada (the government agency commissioned with producing statistics), crime activity in Canada has been falling for almost a decade now. But how Montréal is pictured in the overall crime scene?

Cliquez ici pour la version en français.

The graph below shows the total number of “actual incidents” from 1998 to 2015. The background colors mark who was the Director of the Montréal Police Service (SPVM) during the period.

We can happily see that the downward trend is also affecting the region.

The visible spike in 2009 is probably related to the financial crisis of 2008 showing its collateral damage. Comparing to 2007, there was an increase of 7% in both assault and theft under $5,000; and an increase of 16% for fraud and mischief in Montréal.

Canada wasn’t at the epicentre of the financial crisis, but the country suffered a big impact on foreign trade (since ¾ of the exports are destined for markets in the US), and a global financial crisis also weakened financial markets, shaken consumer and business confidence, etc.

Since then, the whole country has improved its economic prospects. And even more in the Montréal area, that has enjoyed the strongest growth among Canadian urban centres and clearly had a very positive impact in the crime activity after 2009.

Changes on the Montréal Police Service

After the spike, Marc Parent assumed the Direction of SPVM. He was well-received by the press, the syndicate and the police officers when he started in 2005, and was seen as someone who would give a new direction and create a new way of doing things within the Police Service.

It was under his direction that crime activity in Montréal saw a very big drop, leading to the lowest rates for the last 17 years. In May of 2015, once everything was calmer after the end of the student strikes, he left the office and Philippe Pichet became the new Director.

Most recurring violations

The data has literally more than 200 different violations, so I decided to focus on the top 15 most recurring violations from 2005 to 2015.

You can filter the dashboard below by clicking on the violations, which will affect the timeline. The numbers are represented in thousands (K) and the timeline labels show the minimum and the maximum for the selected violation.

Almost all the violations have seen a downfall since 2005, with the exceptions being fraud, possession of drugs, and criminal harassment, which have been stable.

The other interesting information is how “Montrealers” don’t follow the order when indicted, as we can see in the high numbers of “failure to comply with order” and “breach of probation” (respectively 6th and 7th places).

Formulas and references (stats for nerds)

A polynomial trend model of degree 2 is computed for the sum of Incidents given Year.  The model may be significant at p <= 0.05. The factor Violation may be significant at p <= 0.05. The model then, being: ( Year^2 + Year + intercept )

All the data used is public, made available by Statistics Canada.

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