Police respond to a shooting in Greater Vancouver. (Shane MacKichan photo)

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

The province’s homicide rate has shot up 34 per cent since last year, and hit numbers not seen since 2009.

The figures, published Wednesday in a Statistics Canada report, say B.C. saw 118 homicides in 2017, up from 88 the year prior.

Just over two-thirds of the increase was attributed to gun violence, largely because of gangs.

Homicides linked to organized crime shot up as well, with the number of gang-related killings rising by 15 since 2016.

READ MORE: Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead in Maple Ridge

Vancouver saw the biggest jump in homicides in the province, up 25 pre cent with 52 victims – the highest the city has seen since 2009.

In Victoria, the number of homicides rose from one to five, and in Abbotsford-Mission, from three killings to nine.

READ MORE: 3 Lower Mainland homicides in 24 hours unrelated, say police

B.C. recorded the biggest spike in homicides nationwide, with 30 more deaths, followed by Quebec with 26, likely because of the January 2017 mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Québec.

Nationwide, the homicide rate went up by 6.5 per cent, up to 660 in 2017 from 612 the year before.

Researchers attribute the rise to gang activity, as police reported 163 gang-related killings last year, up from 140 in 2016. Gangs account for one-quarter of all homicides in the country.

Indigenous people more likely to be accused of, victims of homicide

Across Canada, the homicide rate for Indigenous people increased eight per cent from the previous year, to 8.76 killings per 100,000 Aboriginal population in 2017. That’s 15 more victims in 2017, up from 141 the year before.

Women accounted for two-thirds of the rise, with a 32-per-cent increase in the number of Indigenous women killed in Canada year over year.

Indigenous people were also more likely to be accused of homicide. The rate was 12 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.

In B.C., Indigenous people were victims of homicide at nearly 1.5 times the rate of non-Indigenous people in B.C., at 3.82 killings per 100,000 people, compared to 2.35 per 100,000 for the general population.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

Williams Lake First Nation inks historic cannabis deal with B.C. government

The agreement paves the way for WLFN to sell cannabis to the government, and open stores across B.C.

Cariboo’s Strongest tests athletes’ mettle

Twenty men and three women took part

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read