Despite homicide spike, threat level to Winnipeggers not measurably higher: Criminologist

Winnipeg criminologist Frank Cormier says a recent surge in murder doesn't represent a trend. Randall Paull/Global News

A Winnipeg criminologist says residents should practice basic safety but shouldn’t be constantly looking over their shoulders despite a sudden spike in homicides.

Winnipeg police confirmed the city’s 10th homicide in less than three months on Monday.

“We should keep our doors locked,” said Frank Cormier, head of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Manitoba.

“But I’m not talking about barricading themselves inside of their homes. The risk level to the average Winnipeggers is not measurably higher today than it was two months ago or four months ago.”

READ MORE: Officer-involved shootings not a cause for panic, says Winnipeg criminologist

Cormier said the homicide rate is a reason to be concerned, although it doesn’t mean the trend will continue throughout the year.

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While the city’s meth crisis isn’t helping the murder rate go down, Cormier said there are a lot more factors to consider.

“People are saying we are on track for ‘X’ number if we multiply that over the year. We do need to be careful when doing that,” he said “Violent crime rates do go up and down from year to year.”

Cormier suggested people focus their attention on the root causes of the homicides, rather than how many occur in a certain time frame.

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