Stats show gun-related crime up 66% the past few years: Winnipeg Police

The Winnipeg Police Gangs and Guns Unit said gun-related crimes have climbed since 2014.

At a Police Board meeting Friday, Winnipeg police said crimes involving a firearm have gone up 66% and shootings have increased by 114% in the city from 2014 to 2018, according to new statistics.

“These are all very significant numbers and I expect nothing less in 2019,” said Inspector Max Waddell during the meeting.

Statistics showed that all crimes where a firearm was involved – including shootings – increased from 192 (2014) to 319 (2018).

Police said three quarters of the crimes were robberies, the remaining were shootings. They said shootings alone, also increased from 44 (2014) to 94 (2018).

Waddell said so far in 2019, 44 shootings are being investigated and are unsolved.

“That is a staggering workload and number,” said Waddell.

Police said from 2016 to 2019 a total of 6517 firearms were seizure.

Police also noted its Firearms Investigative Enforcement Unit dismantled a “Zip Gun” manufacturing facility at a residence in May this year, where it seized 12 improvised weapons.

Bear Clan Patrol’s Executive Director, James Favel said the organization also found a few of the homemade weapons.

“We recovered four improvised firearms this year, which has never happen before,” said Favel.

Waddell said police also investigated a “straw purchaser” – someone who legally buys a firearm for the purpose to sell to criminals.

Along with statistics on guns, police also provide numbers on drug seizures.

Waddell said up-to-date numbers show roughly 1.5 Kg of Methamphetamine and nearly 2Kg of cocaine were seized from April to June, along with Fentanyl, Heroin, Oxycodone, Percocet and Xanax.

The total value of drugs was $267,098.