July 23, 2018 12:04 pm
Updated: July 23, 2018 5:57 pm

‘We need you’: Winnipeg police chief calls on community to combat rise in crime

WATCH: Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth explains how the meth crisis translates to an increase in violent crimes.


Following the release of a report listing the city as the violent crime capital of the country, Winnipeg’s police chief said the police service needs to help turn the tide.

READ MORE: Manitoba has highest homicide rate in Canada; violent crime up in both Winnipeg and Manitoba

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Chief Danny Smyth said in a statement Monday that the Winnipeg Police Service is doing all they can to keep up with criminal activity, blamed in part on the exploding drug trade.

“One third of all homicides in 2017 were the direct result of illicit drugs playing an integral role in the crime.  More break-ins, home invasions, and robberies have occurred because of that as well,” Smyth said.

READ MORE: ‘We can’t arrest our way out’: Winnipeg police look to locals to help control meth crisis

He said the only way Winnipeg will succeed in raising the bar and shedding its title as ‘crime capital of Canada’ is if the community works together.

“I am proud of the commitment and dedication shown by sworn and civilian members of the Winnipeg Police Service, but we can’t turn this situation around by ourselves.  We will continue to investigate drug networks, and liaise with our partners in the community and government to help those consumed by addiction,” Smyth said.

“But most importantly, we need you.  With members of the community joining us, we can make a stand against this plague that has claimed too many lives, and caused too much violence”.

READ MORE: ‘Lock your doors’: Winnipeg police warn of increase in property crime

Statistics Canada’s annual crime numbers show that Manitoba’s Crime Severity Index is up 3 per cent to 118 incidents per 100,000 people, driven by an increase in robbery (12 per cent) and theft under $5,000 (2 per cent.) The overall crime rate is up 2 per cent.

Winnipeg holds the dubious honour of being the violent crime capital of Canada, with a rate of 153.5 violent crimes per 100,000 people, ahead of Thunder Bay with 140.7. Last year’s rate for Winnipeg was 150.

WATCH: Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth speaks to the numbers revealed in the annual report

-with files from Elisha Dacey and Kevin Hirschfield

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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