On August 24, Toronto recorded its 67th homicide of 2018. The alleged murder of Kafi Abshir occurred near Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue, disturbing a city already on edge.
The incident also marked a grim milestone, as it meant Toronto has now recorded as many homicides in the first eight months of 2018 as it did in all of 2017.
Statistics provided to Global News by other police forces in the GTA show the uptick in homicides is not unique to Toronto, but in fact part of a concerning theme that spans the whole area.
Peel, the second most populated region in the GTA, has already seen 18 homicides in 2018. In all of 2017 the region recorded just 16.
While there were 10 recorded homicides in the whole year, York Region had recorded six homicides by the end of August 2017. On July 21 of this year, York Regional Police responded to a call at an apartment complex near Davis Drive and Leslie Street. Upon arrival, they found the body of 20-year-old Alyssa Lightstone, who would soon be recorded as the region’s eighth homicide victim of 2018.
The numbers show a consistent trend. The three largest municipalities in the GTA – Toronto, Peel and York – have already recorded more year-to-date homicides in 2018 than they did at this point in 2017.
WATCH: Global News coverage of Toronto homicides
The uptick has prompted at least two of those three areas to demand more help from the provincial government.
This month Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans wrote to the Ontario government asking for additional funds.
“I have sent a letter off to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services asking for additional funding for more officers and more resources to deal with violent crime,” Evans said in a statement to Global News.
“Toronto is receiving funds from the province and I would like to see Mississauga and Brampton get a share of that.”
The provincial government announced earlier this month that it would be giving Toronto an additional $25 million to fight the increase in gun violence and homicides in the city.
The announcement came following calls for assistance from Mayor John Tory to the provincial and federal governments.
One of the other police forces that operates in the GTA, Durham Police, is also on track to see an increase in the number of homicides recorded in 2018.
In Durham Region, there have been eight homicides to date, nearing the total of nine recorded in all of 2017.
In Halton Region, the least populated of all the regional municipalities in the GTA, 2018 has so far played host to one murder. In 2017, the region saw a total of three murders.
The GTA as a whole has already seen a much deadlier year than 2017. Events like April’s Toronto Van Attack, which saw 10 victims struck and killed on Yonge Street, have pushed an already concerning number of homicides even higher.
By the end of August, the GTA has recorded a total of 106 homicides, two more than what was recorded in all of 2017.