Violent crime in Winnipeg reaches highest level in 13 years: report
The number of crimes in Winnipeg increased by more than 25 per cent in 2022, which includes a record number of homicides, a spike in the use of bear spray as a weapon, and an uptick in property crimes.
On Tuesday, the Winnipeg Police Service released its 2022 Statistical Report, which includes a collection of statistics and information related to police and crime in the city.
The report shows total crime increased by 25.6 per cent compared to 2021, and is up 17 per cent compared to the five-year average.
In terms of violent crime, the city saw its highest level since 2009. This includes the record number of 53 homicides and an 11.7 increase from 2021 in crimes committed with a knife. The report also shows that in the span of three years violent crimes using bear spray nearly doubled – going from 600 incidents in 2019 to 1,181 in 2022.
According to the statistics, nearly half of the violent crimes last year involved physical force, while almost 45 per cent were committed by a stranger. Firearms were used in more than 30 per cent of homicides, while knives made up about 28 per cent of these incidents.
However, the city didn’t only see an uptick in violent crimes. The amount of property crimes in Winnipeg increased by 32 per cent compared to 2021 and 20.3 per cent compared to the five-year average. The police report notes that the large year-over-year percentage is influenced by a historic low in 2021.
The most commonly stolen items in 2022 include vehicle accessories, personal accessories, vehicles, money, and machinery.
The new numbers also show that the total number of dispatched events remained relatively unchanged from 2021, but the number of emergency dispatched events increased by nearly 12 per cent.
As for youth crime, Winnipeg saw a 43.4 per cent increase compared to the previous year, but was 13.7 per cent below the five-year average. The report notes that youth crime in the city has been declining for several years and reached a historic low in 2021.
Some types of crimes that saw decreases in 2022 include traffic crimes, arson, hate crimes, and drug crimes. The report shows that compared to 2021 police saw a 42.6 per cent decrease in meth trafficking and a 13.2 per cent decrease in cocaine trafficking.
Police noted that in 2022, Winnipeggers returned to their normal routines following years of strict pandemic restrictions. However, with this return to normalcy also came a return to higher levels of crime, which had dropped during the pandemic.
Going forward, the police will work to determine how this environment impacted people, crime, and police-related calls for service.
The full report can be found below.
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