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Canada sees rise in homicides, Statistics Canada

By Brittany Henriques Last Updated Nov 23, 2022, 11:45PM EST.
Canada saw an increase in homicides in 2021 compared to 2020 according to Statistics Canada – there were 788 homicides up 29 from the previous year.
Of those, 184 of the 788 were gang-related and 178 of those were femicides according to data from the Canadian Femicide Observatory.
Experts say this points to a need for violence prevention.
“We’re not in a crisis. We should be trying to prevent violence as much as possible, and we should take every opportunity to invest in smart violence prevention mechanisms. But this is not out of line,” said Ted Rutland, Professor at Concordia University’s research focuses on urban politics, planning, and policing in Canada.
“There are things we can do to reduce violence, and we should be doing them at the same time. I mean, the number of homicides is right around the average for the last 20 years and much lower than it was in the 1990s in the 1980s So this is not abnormal.
“I think also, if you take addressing the root causes of violence, that we’re still going to have a lot of violence. And even if people if even if somehow we miraculously reduce the availability of guns, if people have if people want to commit violence, they’ll find other ways to do it. So we really need to be addressing the root causes of this,” Rutland added.
Gang killings in 2021 were the highest in 16 years – but experts warn – this isn’t a call for panic.
“Here’s an effort to really communicate the idea that we have a lot more violence and before gun violence in particular, and gang violence in particular. And it’s simply not the case. The number of murders is is right. Up. The historical average gun crime overall is up just 3 per cent since 2018 and gun and gun crime this year so far in 2022 is down from last year,” said Rutland.
Alain Babineau, a former RCMP officer and Director of Red Coalition adds, “The notion that more police, more money, more of this, more that is going to is going to somehow eliminate those groups is you know, it’s just not going to happen.”
Stats Can reveals in 2021, among spousal and intimate partner homicide victims in Canada, 76 per cent were women while 24 per cent were men.
“The idea that they’re gang-related sparks a lot of fear in people but actually for thinking about how vulnerable the average person is to violence, it’s actually the non-gang-related violence that we should be the most afraid of,” said Rutland.
“I think there are so-called innocent bystanders in gang shootings and mafia shootings, in biker shootings, but they’re rare. They mostly target people who are part of that world. And so if you’re not part of an organized crime organization, it’s extremely unlikely that you will be harmed by one. It’s far more likely, especially if you’re a woman, that you’ll be harmed by someone that you love.”


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