Police Chief Evan Bray would have liked to see a better start to the year for crime statistics, raising concern that two people have already been murdered in the past two months.
“Homicides are a very challenging crime to prevent,” Bray said. “You know we can do crime preventions to prevent theft from vehicles and allow people to protect their property but homicides is one where we have a very good track record of solving but unfortunately they’re a very tough crime to prevent.”
Members of the Regina Police Service gave an update on last year’s crime statistics during Wednesday’s Board of Police Commissioners annual meeting.
There were nine murders along with 22 attempted murders in 2017. The 10-year average is about seven while the attempted murders are around 13.
“Anytime we see that level of violence in our community it’s definitely attributed to guns and attributed to gang activity in our city,” Bray said.
He added his officers do a lot of work trying to eliminate guns within the community along with tackling gang activity.
One thing Bray hopes will be rolled out in the future is a gang strategy for the City of Regina.
“It would not only work on gang prevention but an exit strategy for gang members that are currently trying to get out of these youth gangs because we do see a very high level of violence when it comes to that.”
In the meantime, he said police are always taking guns off the streets.
“I was just downstairs the other day and saw, I don’t know — 140 guns in the office (after multiple seizures) — so we’re constantly trying to take those guns out of the hands of criminals.”
As for getting even more firearms off the street, Bray said in the next month or so there will be another gun amnesty program.
In total there were 20,508 police reported crimes in Regina for last year. The number is five per cent fewer than 2016.
Decline in robberies
On the positive side of the report, the chief said robberies are trending low.
“Our final robbery number for 2017 was the 10 year low so that’s positive,” Bray said. “Robberies (are not just) someone walking into a business or a financial institution but sometimes they’re a violent street robbery as well. So being able to have a low number of those is very positive.”
There were 29.2 per cent fewer robberies last year compared to 2016.