Homicide rate in Saskatoon on the rise

Watch above: The city’s fifth murder of 2015 has some people wondering whether this is the new norm with Saskatoon’s growing economy. Meaghan Craig talks with neighbours to the crime to see what they think.

SASKATOON- A police investigation continues into a murder over the weekend, making it’s Saskatoon’s fifth homicide of the year. It’s the second time the major crime section has been deployed in less than three weeks.

“We are in the process of interviewing witnesses, it’s an ongoing investigation,” said Saskatoon police spokesperson Alyson Edwards.

On Saturday, police responded to Northwoods Inn & Suites in the 600-block of Idylwyld Drive North, where a 44-year-old man was suffering from life-threatening injuries.

READ MORE: Police investigating Saskatoon’s 5th homicide of 2015

“We believe that the victim and the suspect are likely known to each other. We believe that there was some sort of  altercation that took place resulting in the victim’s injuries which he died of,” said Edwards.

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Saskatoon police would not confirm if the victim’s family had been notified and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday afternoon in Edmonton, Alta.

News in what seems to be becoming an upward trend in violent crime that left area residents unphased.

Blanger, who has lived in the area for 40 plus years, said he’s not worried about the safety in the neighborhood and that it’s nothing police can’t handle.

“I’ve been here this long and there has been a lot of activities up and down the street, we’ve had some wild parties on the street and over the years it’s just living in the city.”

Other area residents agreed.

“As with any large city there’s bound to be a certain amount of homicides that occur,” said Greg Fisher. “I don’t think this neighbourhood is actually all that dangerous in general, it’s a fairly good neighbourhood.”

One young man walking home from his graveyard shift on Saturday from a local hotel said he saw the police activity that day and wasn’t surprised.

“I’ve had experiences over there, I’ve been bear maced over there, I’ve had a knife pulled on me and stuff,” said Justin Kleinsasser however concerns over safety haven’t prompted him to move away from the area.

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The area is just a stone’s throw away from the new police headquarters and is frequently responded to by officers.

“It’s something that we are working on, it’s something that our officers meet regularly to discuss and we have a number of different operational plans in place in a number of different categories that we hope will bring down the calls for service there,” said Edwards.

Especially, in light of this year’s murder count.

Last year’s fifth homicide was reported in on June 26; the year before the city’s fourth homicide was on August 30 although five were reported by Statistics Canada as one was at an area correctional centre.

In the last nine years, the average number of homicides in our city has been seven with a peak of 10 in 2010.

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“I think that as a police service we’re concerned whenever we have crime period but violent crime particularly and obviously homicides are very serious investigations, we take them very seriously and we want to find out what exactly precipitated the crime,” explained Edwards.

Police also noted that historically in homicide cases, the victim and suspect are known to each other.

“A member of the general public has no reason to be fearful of that but I think that certainly violent crime is concerning and we are seeing more violent crime in general than we have in previous years,” stated Edwards.

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