A 4 percent decrease in Winnipeg homicides is a start. A 54 percent increase in shootings is not good. Every gang member is packing. Strange how it went from knives to guns so quickly.
Car thefts up 7 percent. Nearly 2,000 stolen vehicles, actually not bad, considering that in 2008 nearly 9,000 were stolen. Since the introduction of mandatory and factory installed immobilizers, the thieves have to really look hard for vehicles that can be stolen.
Winnipeg used to have the dubious distinction of “murder capital of Canada”. But that title has shifted further west. Edmonton has roughly 250,000 more people than Winnipeg, but they had almost double the homicides.
No one factor accounts for all of the 45 homicides in Edmonton in 2017. There are parents who face charges in the death of their little ones and seniors believed to have been randomly killed by strangers.
Some victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others were targeted. There were deaths by stabbing, shooting, beating, drugs, strangulation and fire. Eight were women; the rest were men.
The youngest victim was an 11-day old girl, who died from methamphetamine poisoning. She was one of three children under the age of two to be killed. The oldest was a 76-year-old man who died after a bullet was shot through the door of his suite, located in the same house where a 25-year-old man was found murdered days later.
“There’s domestic violence, there’s gang violence in there, there’s some incidents where two people are fighting and it takes the wrong turn, somebody exercises some force on somebody,” Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht recently told Postmedia. “We don’t have a definitive pattern on this city for at least 10 years that says this is how we can focus and stop the number of homicides.”
GUNS TO BATS
Gunshot wounds were responsible for the greatest number of homicides, with 16 such incidents, not counting police-involved shootings.
Edged weapons were used in 14 homicides.
A baseball bat was used in one homicide and another homicide used a weapon, but the information on the type of weapon was withheld.
“It’s two individuals sitting there drinking a bottle of whisky in the middle of the afternoon and one guy gets up, gets a baseball bat, whacks the other guy in the side of the head — probably has done it before — (but) this time the guy dies,” Knecht said. “How do you prevent that? It’s inexplicable.”