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Recent gang violence has B.C. homicide investigators facing ‘challenging times’

IHIT has 80 sworn police officers and 30 civilian staff, making it the largest homicide unit in Canada. Clayton Little / Global News

The recent spate of gun violence in Metro Vancouver is keeping homicide investigators “very, very busy,” according to Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

There have been multiple shootings in Metro Vancouver in recent days, the most recent being a brazen daytime killing at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday afternoon.

“I would have to say this is the busiest time in my experience,” Jang told Global News.

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“IHIT is no stranger to being busy, that is for sure. But these are certainly challenging times with the quick succession of shootings and homicides that we’ve seen.”

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Read more: Man killed outside Vancouver airport is region’s 10th shooting in only 3 weeks

Jang said IHIT has 80 sworn police officers and 30 civilian staff, making it the largest homicide unit in Canada, and if more investigators are needed, the word goes out for help from various police detachments.

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“When we get busy like we are right now we get secondments from front-line policing or from any other specialized units in those detachments and departments and we have additional resources that are working with us right now,” he said.

IHIT investigates homicides, suspicious deaths, and missing persons cases where foul play is suspected. It serves 28 RCMP communities and four communities with municipal police forces.

Read more: Metro Vancouver gang violence raises questions about police effectiveness, accountability

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Jang says the solve rate of IHIT is about 60 per cent, which is on par with homicide units across the country.

“We have to look at every single homicide case in itself,” he said. “There’s a story, there’s different motives behind each and every case.”

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