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Abbotsford, BC, Canada's murder capital

2529 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Spoolmak
From The Sun (partially quoted here).
This kind of murder rate is like a US city, not Canada. Very disturbing.

Abbotsford-Mission is Canada's murder capital
By KIM BOLAN , Vancouver SunJuly 21, 2009

The Abbotsford-Mission area is one of three municipal regions in Canada that saw increases in 2008 of over 15% in their “Violent Crime Severity Index,” according to Statistics Canada. For the first half of 2009, the number of killings in the Lower Mainland rose, with Abbotsford recording more murders than it did in all of 2008.

Almost two decades ago, police warned about the growth of gangs in Abbotsford after teenager Kirby Martin was slain by a rival group.

Kirby, just 18 and with the Yale gang, was targeted by the rival Countess crew in a September 1990 shooting.

Another Countess associate at the time was Billy Rai, who became a 2009 murder statistic when he was gunned down in a targeted hit June 30.

Since those early shots were fired, the gang and drug problems in Abbotsford have grown exponentially.

The fledgling groups of two decades ago spawned gangs like the Red Scorpions and United Nations, international players in the drug trade linked to an unprecedented spate of murders.

Now Statistics Canada is calling Abbotsford-Mission the murder capital of the country, with a 2008 rate of 4.7 homicides per 100,000.

Abbotsford police say the statistics don’t tell the full story, as many smaller B.C. cities have higher murder rates that are not included in the StatsCan study.

But Police Chief Bob Rich is the first to admit there is a gang problem in his community that has led this year to Rai’s death and five other similar targeted hits.

By comparison, the murder rate for the rest of Metro Vancouver was 2.4 per 100,000, while Kelowna’s 2008 rate was higher at 3.4.

The national average is 1.8 per 100,000.

Not included in the stats are cities of less than 100,000 like Prince George, which had five slayings last year, equalling 6.7 murders per 100,000.

“To call us the homicide capital of Canada isn’t accurate and it isn’t fair. But that we have a significant problem that is resulting in gang violence is fair,” Rich said. “Where the homicides occur in Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley are almost accidents of two gangs managing to find each other.”

Rich, who was hired in Abbotsford from the Vancouver police last year, said he is constantly searching for the root causes of the gang problem in his new community and throughout the Lower Mainland.

“Abbotsford has a significant number of gang members that reside here,” he said.

“Ten years ago, we were not looking at these mid-level street gangs. Why do we have it now? I don’t have one complete answer to that question.”

Criminologist Darryl Plecas said crackdowns on marijuana-growing operations by police in Vancouver and Surrey have pushed the problem out to the valley.

There is a large addict population that provides clientele to the drug trade. Close proximity to the border, rural properties to grow pot and discreet mountain trails into the U.S. are all factors.

“Part of it is if you have gangs as we do, part of that is a fluke. They just happen to have grown up here. Those people are going to bring in people and get attached to people who are close to home,” Plecas said.

Abbotsford has also experienced huge population growth not reflected in the census figures used by StatsCanada, he said.

Rich said police were not on top of the gang issue a decade ago.

“I do think Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley were soft for a period of time and didn’t realize what was happening in allowing marijuana grow-ops to occur and that cash cow was a huge incentive,” Rich said.

And those who get involved are still enticed by the money and the perceived glamour of the gang lifestyle, Rich said.

“What we have got to look at as a community is how we intervene in the lives of kids who are 16 years old and we are actively trying to figure that out in Abbotsford,” Rich said.

One plan in the works is to get court-ordered peace bonds targeting at-risk youth so police can enforce curfews and prevent some associations.

“We are holding meetings with parents after we identify these groups of kids and we are looking at how you confront them,” Rich said.

Abbotsford was also cited by StatsCan for a 15-per-cent increase in violent crime in 2008 and some of the highest auto theft, and break and enter rates in the country.
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I read a blurb in the paper over lunch about crime continuing to decline in Canada. link:

The following shows the 2008 severity index number for each province and territory, noting the change from 2007:

Newfoundland and Labrador: 71.2, down six per cent.

Prince Edward Island: 68.2, up seven per cent.

Nova Scotia: 83.6, down nine per cent.

New Brunswick: 71.3, up one per cent.

Quebec: 82.5, down three per cent.

Ontario: 70.6, down five per cent.

Manitoba: 128.7, down 14 per cent.

Saskatchewan: 156.1, down five per cent.

Alberta: 110.1, down four per cent.

British Columbia: 120.9, down eight per cent.

Yukon: 181.5, down two per cent.

Northwest Territories: 337.7, up one per cent.

Nunavut: 324.2, up two per cent.

Canada: 90.0, down five per cent.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Police-reported crime drops in 2008: StatsCan

By Terry Pedwell (CP) – 21 hours ago

OTTAWA — Police-reported crime continued to decline in 2008, Statistics Canada said in a report Tuesday.

But a steadily dropping crime rate will not deter the federal Conservative government from cracking down on criminal activities, says Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

Both the traditional crime rate, and Statistics Canada's so-called crime severity index, fell five per cent last year as the volume of police-reported crime and its average severity decreased.

Still, the Tories will continue to press the opposition parties in the House of Commons to pass anti-crime legislation when Parliament resumes in the fall, says Nicholson.

"We don't govern on the latest statistics," the minister told The Canadian Press in a telephone interview.

"What level it's at right now, it's unacceptable, and we are committed to disrupting ... criminal activity."

Violent crime also dropped in 2008, but to a lesser extent than the overall decline.

There were about 77,000 fewer reported crimes in 2008, including 28,000 fewer thefts of $5,000 and under, 22,000 fewer break-ins and 20,000 fewer motor-vehicle thefts, StatsCan reported.

Crime severity was down in virtually all provinces, with the largest decline reported in Manitoba.

However, Manitoba continued to have the highest homicide rate among provinces in 2008. That prompted the province's attorney general Tuesday to promise to hire more police, and to take action to target the worst offenders.

Manitoba's murder rate was 50 per cent higher than second-place Alberta.

And despite a 44 per cent drop in vehicle theft, Winnipeg continues to have the highest rate of stolen automobiles in Canada.

The one notable exception to the reduced overall crime rates was a seven per cent increase on Prince Edward Island.

About one in five crimes reported to police is violent. There were 3,500 fewer reported violent incidents in 2008, including 2,000 fewer robberies.

Homicides, which make up less than one per cent of violent crime, were one of the few violent crimes to increase in 2008.

The police-reported crime rate for youth aged 12 to 17 fell five per cent in 2008, the fourth decline in five years. The youth violent crime rate, which declined three per cent, has been relatively stable since 2000.

The minority Conservatives in Ottawa have been pushing their anti-crime agenda hard this spring, introducing 11 pieces of legislation. Just one of the bills passed, increasing penalties for people convicted of gang-related murders.

Nicholson noted his anti-drug legislation saw only a couple of days of debate in the Senate before parliamentarians left Ottawa for the summer.

"I was very disappointed about that," said Nicholson.

"(The bill would have imposed) mandatory jail terms for people who, for instance, are bringing drugs into this country."
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Yes, I did see this a few days ago and it is very good news.

However, the most accurate and distressing figure, murder, still went up overall.

Homicides, which make up less than one per cent of violent crime, were one of the few violent crimes to increase in 2008.
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Thunder Bay has had 4, maybe 5 this year, a tie for our records in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the population peaked.

Maybe if we re-instate the death penalty, abusive boyfriends and drug use will finally evaporate?
There hasn't been a homicide here in North Bay for a good five years.
Here is the Crime Severity Index by city, from StatsCan. link:

(Note: Content area on this page may be wider than usual.)

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Table 3 Police-reported Crime Severity Index values, census metropolitan areas (CMAs)
Police-reported Crime Severity Index values, census metropolitan areas (CMAs) 2008 2007 to 2008 2008 2007 to 2008
Total crime Violent crime
Crime Severity Index % change Violent Crime Severity Index % change
500,000 and over population
Winnipeg 124.4 -19 162.5 -11
Edmonton 122.0 -5 131.4 2
Vancouver 119.0 -9 125.0 -4
Montréal 91.2 -3 106.0 -3
Calgary 84.7 -8 89.7 -5
Hamilton 77.0 -7 88.1 -9
Ottawa1 69.0 -9 73.1 -4
Kitchener 68.9 -3 60.3 -10
Toronto 64.2 -6 95.8 -5
Québec 63.8 -3 55.7 5
100,000 to less than 500,000 population
Regina 163.1 -13 169.9 -7
Abbotsford–Mission 142.5 -2 122.9 16
Saskatoon 137.8 -13 164.8 -21
Kelowna2 126.4 -2 110.2 12
Thunder Bay 107.3 -3 117.0 -10
Brantford2 104.3 -6 87.5 -11
Saint John 102.9 -2 109.3 2
Victoria 101.4 -5 79.6 -1
Halifax 95.6 -9 115.8 -7
St. John's 86.4 -15 73.8 -5
London 84.6 -5 65.3 -4
St. Catharines–Niagara 80.1 0 68.3 5
Trois-Rivières 78.2 14 60.3 0
Sherbrooke 76.6 3 58.0 -3
Gatineau3 76.0 -6 78.3 18
Windsor 75.3 -8 77.1 15
Greater Sudbury 73.6 -7 75.1 -18
Moncton2 72.8 -13 65.0 -11
Kingston 68.4 -3 61.2 1
Peterborough2 66.1 7 68.7 10
Barrie2 63.6 -6 52.5 -11
Saguenay 59.2 -11 57.1 -18
Guelph2 57.7 -3 41.5 -15
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we may have the hieghest but its droping but still its prity sad when the ones commiting the crimes just plane don't care

we have seen a spike in muggings and home invasions since the car imobolizers being made manditory in high risk cars ad winnipeg is at 16 murders down 2 from this time last year crime over all is still down but we do have the spikes o and sexual asults are up for the first time in 4 yrs also we have the highest per cap of police to people in canada and we got a bunch more money today cause of a abnormaly high number of qualified people aplying this year for positions so the police got a nice bonus
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^ thats good to hear. I hear the RCMP are in desperate need for people. I know a guy who applied for the RCMP and got turned down because of one tiny little infraction on his license. I know that the are really picky at those sort of things, but cops in Vancouver are running people over and drinking and driving, and they couldn't even give someone the time of day because of a couple speeding tickets, when they are in DIRE need of cops esp. in Vancouver.
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