Homicides nearly double in 2015 over 2014 in rural Alberta: RCMP

RCMP investigate a homicide scene east of Edson, Alta., where a man, woman and teenage girl were found dead in a rural home on Sunday. November 30, 2015. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

In 2015, Alberta RCMP responded to 65 homicides, which is nearly double the number of homicides that took place in the province in 2014.

In 2014, 36 homicides took place within the Alberta RCMP’s 112 detachment jurisdictions. RCMP said the 2015 number is also higher than the 10-year average of 40 homicides per year.

“Homicide cases take real commitment on the part of the employees involved. Last year, that saw them working longer hours – often away from home – under the saddest of circumstances – just to keep up,” chief superintendent Gary Steinke with the Alberta RCMP Serious Crimes Branch said.

“Sheer determination to see justice done for the victims was what kept folks going, and this is reflected in the high solve rate they achieved.”

Of the 65 homicides in 2015, 45 were solved by the end of the year. Seven of the suspects died by suicide before officers were able to arrest and charge them, RCMP said Wednesday. The rest of the cases are still under investigation.

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So far in 2016, RCMP have responded to six homicides.

The following data was provided by the Alberta RCMP:

Homicides in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions between 2005 and 2015.
Homicides in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions between 2005 and 2015. Courtesy, Alberta RCMP

Sixty homicide investigators work in the RCMP Major Crime Unit, which has bases in Edmonton and Calgary.

RCMP said officers are still working on 200 unsolved homicides in Alberta which date back to 1983. The Alberta RCMP has three teams of investigators and nine civilian employees who work on solving historical homicides.

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