Statistics from the Calgary Police Service show more than half of all homicides in Calgary in 2017 were related either to drugs, gangs or organized crime.
“If you’re going to be involved in that lifestyle, unfortunately there are some consequences that may go with that,” Calgary Police Insp. Paul Wozney told Global News in an exclusive year-end interview.
Police said many of the cases involved people directly tied to criminal organizations, as well as those trafficking and using illicit drugs.
2017 also saw detectives be given a number of complicated cases for detectives to deal with, including a quadruple homicide.
The investigation involved multiple crime scenes, associations to several criminal networks and help from police forces across the country.
“These investigations are hundreds and hundreds of hours long,” Wozney said.
He said investigators worked around the clock to try and solve the cases.
“There’s a huge emotional investment on the part of the investigators,” Wozney said.
There was also a spike in the number of shooting deaths in the city. Those made up 52 per cent of Calgary’s homicides in 2017 — up 21 per cent over the 10-year average in the city.
Wozney said domestic-related incidents are also a major concern — making up nearly a quarter of the year’s murder cases.
“There’s a number of theories that we try to attribute to that. Part of that is the economy, part of it I would certainly attribute to drug use or addictions issues.”
So far, 27 deaths have been deemed homicides in 2017.
There are also a number of deaths that are still being investigated, including the death of an infant on Christmas Eve.