Winnipeg’s 2020 homicide rate nearing last year’s record

Click to play video 'Homicides near 2019 record in Winnipeg' Homicides near 2019 record in Winnipeg
Homicides are nearing the record set in 2019 in Winnipeg. So far, there have been 41 homicides being investigated by Winnipeg police, while last year, there were 44. Joe Scarpelli has more. – Dec 18, 2020

With half a month left to go in 2020, Winnipeg is coming awfully close to seeing another record-breaking year for homicides.

To date, there have been 41 killings in the city, which ties the record for the second-most in a single year set back in 2011.

The all-time high was recorded last year with 44, doubling 2018’s homicide rate of 22.

“We’re at a tragically high number,” Cst. Dani McKinnon said.

The 41st homicide of 2020 came on Dec. 11 after a man was assaulted in the Burrows-Keewatin neighbourhood.

The year before, Winnipeg hit 41 homicides about a month earlier on Nov. 13.

Read more: Winnipeg murder rate skyrockets in 2019, criminal justice expert points to long-term solutions

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However, McKinnon cautions against short-term comparisons.

“If we’re looking at a year-over-year comparison, it’s probably not the best way to look at statistical relevance,” Mckinnon said.

“We would want to do that over maybe a five-year span and that’s what our analysts generally would do when we’re looking at crime trends.”

Click to play video 'Winnipeg crime rate up 10% last year: WPS crime stat report' Winnipeg crime rate up 10% last year: WPS crime stat report
Winnipeg crime rate up 10% last year: WPS crime stat report – Jul 24, 2020

As for what’s fueling the 2020 numbers, McKinnon said she can’t point to one specific factor.

“There’s going to be commonality with criminality,” she said. “Whether it’s drug influence or gang activity or retaliation.”

Read more: Winnipeg crime rate up 10% last year: WPS crime stat report

University of Winnipeg Criminal Justice Professor, Dr. Michael Weinrath, agrees.

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“There’s not really a difference in what we see from year-to-year, we just have more of them (homicides),” Weinrath said.

“There’s not that many that are really remarkable to tie to a trend.”

Weinrath said the recent homicide numbers are discouraging, but they can go down just as fast as they have in the past.

He doesn’t believe the coronavirus pandemic is playing a role.

To date, nine of the 2020 homicides are unsolved.

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