EDMONTON – National homicide rates stayed constant between 2013 and 2014. In Alberta, it’s a different story.
A report released by Statistics Canada Wednesday morning revealed startling statistics about homicides in Alberta.
According to the report, the number of homicides in Alberta jumped from 82 in 2013, to 104 in 2014. That increase is enough to be the biggest of all Canadian provinces.
Alberta is one of five provinces that saw an increase in homicides from the previous year. The others – British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec – saw less dramatic increases.
According to Statistics Canada, 40 homicides were reported in Edmonton in 2014, a sharp increase from the 27 homicides reported in 2013. There will likely be lower numbers this year than last: 23 homicides have taken place in the city so far in 2015.
Edmonton police said they saw 35 homicides in 2014, 29 in 2013 and 23 so far this year.
According to the Statistics Canada report, Calgary also saw an increase in homicides, from 24 in 2013 to 31 in 2014. Thirty homicides have already been reported in Calgary for 2015.
But while homicide rates are lower in 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta RCMP jurisdictions have seen a noticeable spike since last year.
This year, 56 murders have already been reported in RCMP jurisdictions, with one month left until the end of the year. Last year, 36 murders were reported in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions.
“Certain types of violent crime have seen an increase, and homicides are one of those,” said Insp. Gibson Glavin, head of strategic communications with Alberta RCMP.
“Frankly, one is too many and the public should take note of that.”
Alberta also saw more homicides with Aboriginal victims than any other province. In 2014, Alberta had 30 Aboriginal homicide victims, more than a quarter of Canada’s national totals.
Alberta also had the second-highest per capita rate of Aboriginal homicide victims. Rates for Aboriginal homicide victims are almost six times higher than rates for non-Aboriginals. Rates for Aboriginal murder suspects were more than 10 times higher than similar rates for non-Aboriginals.
“It’s the worst tragedy that can occur to a person, to a community, and to a family,” said Glavin.
However, despite the murder statistics, he said there is no reason for people to be scared.
“There isn’t cause for them to be concerned for their personal safety, in our view.”