August 9, 2019 10:27 am
Updated: August 9, 2019 2:53 pm

Toronto police chief says recent string of gun violence in city related to street gangs

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto has seen a multitude of shootings in August, and on Aug. 9, Chief Mark Saunders, of the Toronto Police Services, updated the public on the various shooting investigations. He said the police's gun and gang task force continue to place a high priority on these investigations.

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Toronto’s police chief says street gangs are to blame for the vast majority of shootings that have taken place in the city over recent days.

Mark Saunders says that doesn’t mean innocent people weren’t affected and adds that police are going to be placing a stronger focus on dealing with gangs.

But he says the issue requires a multi-faceted approach to ensure people don’t take up guns in the first place and that those charged with firearms offences don’t get involved in shootings again once they leave jail.

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READ MORE: Toronto police chief pledges more resources after 17 people shot over Civic Holiday long weekend

Police have said 17 people were injured in 14 separate shootings across Toronto over the August long weekend, including five hurt in a shooting at a crowded nightclub.

Saunders says multiple arrests have been made in those incidents.

Police had recorded 244 shootings with 365 victims as of Sunday night. That compares to 238 shootings with 324 victims at the same time last year.

The violence prompted Mayor John Tory to call on the federal government yet again for a handgun ban.

WATCH: Recent string of Toronto shootings mostly related to street gang activity

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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