Peel Regional Police detectives in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon have solved 100 per cent of the region’s murders in three of the past four years — and as 2009 draws to a close, they’re close to doing it again. It’s an almost unheard of record: Toronto’s rate, called a clearance rate, is just more than 53 per cent this year, one of its lowest ever.
Peel’s success is even more impressive in the context of a rising number of homicides in the region.
The three most recent years have seen the most homicides in the Peel force’s history, with a record-setting 27 in 2008 and 21 so far in 2009. This trend is partly due to the result of gentrification and police pressure pushing crime out of Toronto.
“There’s been a suburbanization of homicides — the suburbs of yesterday have become the inner cities of today,” says Michael Chettleburgh, founder of crime consultancy group Astwood Strategy Corporation. “There are people saying, ‘It’s getting hot here, I’m going to go elsewhere.’”