Shootings down in Calgary in 2023, CPS report shows

The Calgary Police Service headquarters seen on Thursday, April 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Efforts to reduce the number of shootings in Calgary appear to be working.

As of March 9, the 17 year-to-date shootings represented a 37 per cent reduction when compared to last year’s numbers.

“We believe this is the result of ongoing suppression and enforcement activities targeting known violent offenders,” a Calgary Police Services report to the Calgary Police Commission said.

CPS said only three of the shootings in 2023 had known connections to organized crime.

Investigators have seen a reduction in the pace of shootings since November 2022.

And in February 2023, 20 crime guns were seized.

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Deputy Chief Paul Cook told commissioners that investments in the firearms investigation team have been paying off.

“We probably have the best intelligence picture on crime guns as we can have or we’ve ever had,” Cook said.

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Other types of crimes are down in the city year-to-date, as well.

Break-and-enters were down by 48 per cent from last year and 45 per cent from the five-year average.

To date, vehicle thefts were 27 per cent lower than last year and 28 per cent below the five-year average.

Reports of domestic violence are down by a third from the same time period last year and 27 per cent lower than the five-year average for Calgary.

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Commercial robberies were below the five-year average by 38 per cent, but street robberies, also known as muggings, were up slightly above the historic average.

Acting chief Chad Tawfik said police have seen a long-term trend in the reduction of property crime and CPS has placed a “strong focus” on property and violent crime for 2023.

“We’re hopeful, we’re cautiously optimistic that that trend will continue, and we certainly are deploying our resources to try to focus on those areas,” Tawfik said, noting seasonality has historically played a role in crime data.

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Covert, uniformed officers working transit safety

Safety along the CTrain also continues to be an area of focus for the police.

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CPS said every police district that has CTrain lines running through it has policing initiatives, using either uniformed or covert members. Police continue to work with Calgary Transit peace officers as well.

The police commission report said a couple of police districts have launched an operation to focus on drug trafficking at the stations that have seen the most activity: Whitehorn, Franklin, Rundle and Marlborough.

Disorder and property crime have also found a hot spot between the Somerset and Shawnessy LRT stations. CPS has made those areas a “crime reduction priority” for patrols.

“There are very complex social issues that come into play around safety on transit, and not just in Calgary,” Tawfik said.

“I think it’s multifaceted as far as the things that need to happen. Certainly, from what we’re seeing, the efforts of our police officers and the peace officers with transit do have an impact, but it’s a big system and there’s a lot of places to deal with …  and we’re mindful of things such as displacement into communities and things of that nature.”

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