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

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Most Read