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

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce. (PQB News photo)
PQBeat: Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden looks ahead

Podcast: Talk includes 2021 business plans in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, events and more

The Village Way and Highway 19A roundabout is the Town of Qualicum Beach priority for a grant application. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council favours roundabout over turf field project

Mayor believes road project has better chance of landing grant

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting a fish off Dallas Road sparks social media debate

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

(News Bulletin file photo)
Car crashes along the Nanaimo Parkway, driver abandons vehicle

Mazda with ‘extensive damage’ found in the ditch in the early-morning hours Jan. 19

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Most Read