Winnipeg seeing significant increase in gun crime: police, community groups

If you feel like you’ve been seeing more news about gun crime in Winnipeg, you’re not alone – the city has seen a significant increase in the use of firearms over the past few years.Winnipeg has seen a 66 per cent increase in firearm-related offences since 2014, which compares to only a 42 per cent rise in the rest of the country.Winnipeg police Insp. Max Waddell told 680 CJOB that part of the danger with the increase in gun crime is that the people holding the weapons often don’t know how to use them.Story continues below

“Let’s just say they’re not trained in proper use. They’re often acting very irrational and are high on an illicit drug and that just makes a very dangerous mixture of what could go terribly wrong,” he said.Police said guns are most often involved in robberies, which make up three-quarters of all gun-related crimes in Winnipeg.There’s also been a notable increase in shootings, which have more than doubled over the past four years, and account for 21 per cent of firearm-related offences.“There’s not many days that go by in the city of Winnipeg that some from of gun crime does not happen,” said Waddell.READ MORE: Winnipeg gun crime continues to rise, police sayWinnipeg’s Bear Clan Patrol, a volunteer-driven inner-city safety group, is seeing more guns on the streets these days too, said founder James Favel – including an incident where a group of volunteers had a gun pointed at them.“One of our groups was confronted by a man with a gun this past winter,” said Favel.“We were walking down the street and there was a young man in front of us… I guess he got paranoid because we were travelling in the same direction, and he turned and pointed the firearm at us.“It was just coincidence we were travelling in the same direction, but it was quite scary.”Favel said the Bear Clan also came across four improvised firearms this year, something that’s never happened before.WATCH: Gun seizures increasing ‘year to year’ say Winnipeg police