Winnipeg police say citizens may have a bit of a wait for officers to arrive for property and other non-emergency crime Monday.
A shotgun fired into a home Sunday and three homicides Saturday night mean police are dealing with a backlog due to the strain on their resources, said police Monday morning.
“We will continue to triage all calls for service and prioritize personal and public safety over property concerns and incidents where there is no immediate threat,” said Const. Jay Murray.
“We ask those waiting for a police response during this time to please be patient.”
Four people were hurt in a shooting on Flora Avenue Sunday, including an infant. All four are expected to survive.
Three deaths on the weekend, including a 14-year-old girl at a Halloween party Saturday night and two men early Sunday morning, are considered homicides and police are still investigating.
With officers focused on major crimes, police chief Danny Smyth said he understands people who are victims of non-violent crime getting upset with long response times.
“I’ve never seen any other city have to deal with what we’re dealing with right now,” said Smyth.
“It can sometimes take days for us to get around to some of the lesser offences, just to take a report. That’s frustrating to people, but they might not necessarily understand how much of our resources get caught up in the major crimes.”
Winnipeg Police Association president Moe Sabourin said resources being tied up on major crimes means smaller-scale criminals are feeling free to continue offending.
“There are people out there who are continuing to commit crime, because we don’t have the resources to investigate, to run projects and to arrest these people and put them in jail,” he said.
“Just off the top of my head, I think we could easily use another 200 officers.”