Calgary police say small group responsible for spike in gun violence
Published Friday, July 21, 2017 9:12AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, July 21, 2017 7:01PM MDT
Calgary police are working to combat gun violence and homicides in the city and say there has been an increase in the number of shootings over the last year.
Police say there were 45 shootings in 2017 compared to just 37 in 2016.
Officials say more than 100 guns, connected to crime, have been seized in 2017.
Police say that the gun violence comes hand in hand with other violent behaviour exhibited by suspects.
“These are predominantly young men who have zero regard for the safety of others, but even more alarming, have zero regard for their own lives. This makes them extremely dangerous, violent and unpredictable. The risk these individuals pose to bystanders and innocent members of our community is deeply concerning,” said Staff Sgt. Rob Davidson in a release. “Retaliatory violence is entirely impulsive with this group because of their non-traditional structure.”
About 40 people are being investigated for 55 shootings since 2012, a number of unsolved homicides in the last five years and at least 17 reported violent home invasions this year alone.
Calgary police say the violence is generally localized to individuals of a group that is very disorganized and lacking in the structure of traditional gangs.
Police are working to address the violence through a strategy of intelligence, suppression and investigative efforts from more than 15 areas in the CPS.
Chief Roger Chaffin says Calgary is one of the best in Canada at tackling these issues and wanted residents to know what they are doing to help.
"Our service is clearly one of the exceptional police services in this country. We are doing everything possible in our investigative capacity and bringing our skillsets to bear to make sure we are doing everything in our power to guarantee we are addressing it. I think it is a good opportunity to tell people that."
He says that the violence is something that everyone should be concerned about.
"I am concerned as every Calgarian should be concerned that when people behave like this way, when people have such disregard for human life, we should all be concerned about it."
Public tips are also a great help for officers and any information, even something basic as hearing gunshots can be critical to investigators.
“We know people might be scared, but there are ways to provide information anonymously. As Calgarians we need to come together to send a clear message that this kind of activity is not tolerated in our city,” said Davidson.
Police say that 32 of the 45 shootings this year have been targeted and 15 of those are the result of a conflict between members of the aforementioned disorganized group.
Communities within central and northeast Calgary have the highest shooting occurrence rates and the shootings are most likely to happen during the night on weekend.