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

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

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Numerous Comox Valley projects get CERIP grants

Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery… Continue reading

Thrifty Foods. (Black Press file photo)
Thrifty Foods confirms staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Courtenay

The company currently lists 12 stores within B.C. with confirmed cases

Comox Valley Schools’ distance learning program, Navigate (NIDES), which saw some large gains in enrolment this year, could see a return to normal numbers come September. Image, screenshot
Comox Valley Schools expects enrolment drop come fall

Decline projected online, as more students return to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classes

Cumberland will be looking to a parcel tax to cover debt for its new water system. File photo
Cumberland plans for parcel tax to cover water debt

Parcel tax review panel would take place March 22, if necessary

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read