Last year was Waterloo region’s lowest homicide victim count in over a decade, among the lowest in southwestern Ontario
A new report from Statistics Canada on police-reported crime from 2021 shows Waterloo region was amongst the census metropolitan areas with the lowest homicide rate in Ontario.
Across the census area, which covers Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo, there were only two reported homicide victims in 2021– the lowest yearly number since 2006 when the region also reported two.
The number of homicide victims in 2021 was lower than in previous years, with eight victims reported in 2020, five victims in 2019, seven victims recorded in 2018 and five victims reported in 2017.
The latest data from 2020 shows an estimated population of 623,930 for Waterloo region, giving the region a 2021 homicide rate of 0.33 per 100,000 people.
In the last two decades, 2003 had the lowest number of homicides reported with only one.
Of the southwestern metropolitan areas included in the report, only the City of Guelph had a lower number of homicide victims in 2021, next was Belleville, Barrie and Peterborough, all reporting two.
Across Canada, the report shows there were 788 homicide victims in 2021, with Toronto reporting 117 – the highest of any of the census areas.
HOW DOES WATERLOO REGION COMPARE TO OTHER CITIES?
The neighbouring city of Guelph is the exception, with no homicide victims reported in 2021. In the last 10 years, the City of Guelph has seen four years with no reported homicides and five years with only one reported homicide.
In London, where the population is roughly one-third lower than Waterloo region, the number of homicide victims in 2021 was 16 – an increase from the eight reported in 2020. In 2019, London and Waterloo region had the same number of homicide victims, while in 2018 Waterloo region had one more.
Over in Windsor, which has a population of only one-third of Waterloo region, the number of victims last year was 10. This is double what the city recorded in 2020, and four higher than the six recorded in 2019. Both 2021 and 2018 had the same number of victims reported.
In Hamilton, which has a population comparable to Waterloo region, a whopping 20 homicide victims were reported in 2021. This is up from the 18 reported in 2020, the 14 reported in 2019 and the nine reported in 2018.
Brantford, with a population of one-sixth of Waterloo region, reported five homicides in 2021, equal to 2020, 2018 and 2017. Of the last five years, 2019 had the lowest number of homicides with four reported.
The St. Catharines-Niagara census area, with a population two-thirds the size of Waterloo region, reported six homicides last year, up from the five reported in 2020 but on par with the six reported in 2019.