Data released by Statistics Canada this month report that a total of 611 homicides took place within Canada in 2016, up slightly from 609 in 2015. The 2016 total is a rate of 1.68 per 100,000 people. The past two years saw a spike from recent years, with 548 recorded in 2012, 509 in 2013 and 522 in 2014.
The most common method recorded is shooting, which consists of 223 of the total for 2016, with stabbing coming in second with a total of 175. Other methods included are beating at 116, strangulation at 37, fire (burns or suffocation) at 11 and other methods, or methods unknown making up the rest.
Saskatchewan itself saw a total of 54 homicides in 2016, coming in ahead of Manitoba at 42. This rate, per 100,000 people is at 4.69, marking the highest homicide rate in 39 years, the highest rate within all provinces and up from Saskatchewan’s 2015 rate of 3.89. According to Statistics Canada, 13 of the homicides within the province were reportedly gang-related incidents, up from 8 in 2015. More than half of the gang related deaths took place outside of Saskatoon and Regina.
Based on population, Regina comes in as the third highest homicide rate within Canada with eight murders. The homicide rate within Edmonton was at number two with 47 homicides and Saskatoon was ranked sixth. Within these numbers, Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan had the highest number of homicides involving an Aboriginal victim at 36, with Alberta at 31 and Manitoba at 27.
According to Maclean’s, the crime rate within Canada has plummeted by 25 per cent in the past decade; however, the severity of the crimes is rising. The same report by Maclean’s also states that according to numbers based on violent crimes, non-violent crimes and overall, North Battleford comes in as the worst crime record among Canada’s cities and municipal police districts. This is based on a 353 Crime Severity Index (CSI). Second on this list was Thompson, Manitoba with a CSI of 284 following by Prince Albert in third with a CSI of 244. Saskatoon comes in at 22 on the list with a CSI of 128.