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Rising Trend in Firearm-Related Violent Crimes in Canada During 2022

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Rising Trend in Firearm-Related Violent Crimes in Canada During 2022

The latest report for 2022 by Stats Canada reveals a concerning rise in firearm-related violent crimes in Canada, with an 8.9% increase from 2021, reaching the highest rate since 2009. The report, titled “Firearms and violent crime in Canada, 2022,” published by Juristat, is based on data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and the Homicide Survey.

Key Findings:

  1. Overall Increase: Out of all police-reported violent crimes in Canada, slightly less than 3% (approx. 14,000 incidents) involved firearms, marking an increase to 36.7 incidents per 100,000 population.
  2. Provincial Trends: Ontario witnessed a substantial rise with 4,791 firearm-related violent crimes, contributing to 70% of the national increase. This surge was particularly pronounced in Toronto, with a 36% increase compared to 2021. British Columbia and Alberta also saw notable increases, with significant rises in cities like Abbotsford–Mission, Victoria, and Vancouver.
  3. Regional Variations: While provinces like New Brunswick and Saskatchewan experienced an increase in firearm-related violent crime rates, some areas like Quebec saw a slight decrease.
  4. Rural vs Urban Trends: The upward trend in firearm-related violent crimes has been more pronounced in rural and northern regions since 2013, with a 141% increase in rural areas of the Provincial North and 139% in the territories, compared to a 45% increase in southern urban areas.
  5. Specific Crimes on the Rise: There’s been a sharp increase in specific firearm-related violent crimes, especially discharging a firearm with intent, which has more than tripled since 2013. The homicide rate involving firearms also increased significantly, with 342 homicides in 2022 committed with a firearm, the highest rate since 1991.
  6. Type of Firearms Used: Handguns have seen a 50% increase in their involvement in violent crimes since 2013, more than rifles, shotguns, or other types of firearms.

This report underscores a worrying trend in firearm-related violence across Canada, with urban centers and certain provinces showing particularly high increases. It highlights the need for ongoing attention to policies and measures to address and mitigate gun violence in the country.

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