Homicide rate jumps in 2017

London police guard the scene after a homicide in downtown London. Photo by Jessica Wollis, Blackburn Radio."

Statistics Canada has released homicide stats for 2017, and they show the most significant increase in gun and gang-related deaths since 1992.

There were 0.72 gun/gang-related deaths per 100,000 people, an 18 per cent increase since 2016.

That accounted for much of the 30 per cent jump in the overall homicide rate last year since 2013. The agency says police reported 660 homicides in 2016, compared to 509 just four years before. For every 100,000 people, the homicide rate was 0.72.

Statistics Canada stressed in its report that despite an upward trend in the homicide rate over the past few years, homicide is still relatively rare in Canada, accounting for just 0.2 per cent of all violent crime reported to police.

“Despite year-over-year fluctuations, Canada’s homicide rate has generally declined over the last few decades,” read the report. “The rate of homicides in 2017 was 41 per cent lower than the peak in 1975.”

Like Canada, the rate is also trending upward in the U.S. The Federal Bureau of Investigations reported 5.3 for every 100,000 residents last year.

The trend has not been seen in other countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Other violent crimes also increased last year including sexual assault which was up 13 per cent over 2016. There was a four per cent increase in attempted murders, a two per cent increase in robberies, and aggravated assaults were up one per cent.