TORONTO — Canada’s murder rate jumped 7 percent in 2011, the first gain in three years, with anxiety over violent crime mounting across the country after reports of gang wars and grisly murders.
Statistics Canada said on Tuesday the number of murders rose by 44 to 598 in 2011, or about 1.73 murders per 100,000 people.
That is still dwarfed by the tally in Canada’s southern neighbor, the United States, which had 14,612 murders in 2011, or about 4.7 murders per 100,000 people, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
But anxiety has been growing over violent crime, with several high-profile gang shootouts in Toronto this year, including one incident in June in which rival gangs opened fire in a food court in the main downtown mall, leaving one dead and six wounded.
Canadians have been transfixed this year by the case of Luka Magnotta, who is charged in the murder and dismemberment of a Chinese university student in Montreal. Magnotta is suspected of filming the murder and mailing the body parts to Canadian political parties.
Murders rose by six to 86 in Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, for a still relatively low rate of 1.46 per 100,000 of population.
The central Canadian province of Manitoba continued to have the most murders per capita. The murder rate in Winnipeg, Manitoba’s most populous city, jumped to 5.08 per 100,000 in 2011 from 2.82.