Shootings in Toronto reaching record highs, deaths down: police data
As the City of Toronto works to combat gun violence, data from the local police shows the city is combating more shootings to date than in recent years, though deaths are down.
Toronto police data shows the city has had 267 shootings as of Aug. 12., 15 more than by the same time last year and more than the mid-August totals of any year since 2014, which is as far back as the dataset goes.
The 2019 shootings have resulted in 20 deaths thus far, a 33-per-cent decrease from this time last year. There have also been 132 non-fatal injuries from shootings in 2019, more than this time in any of the past six years and a 21-per-cent increase from last year.
It looks like 2019 could eclipse last year as the most violent year since at least 2003. In total, 2018 saw 428 shootings, resulting in 51 deaths and 185 injuries.
Toronto’s problem with gun violence became a spotlight issue following the August long weekend, when local police said they responded to 14 separate shootings and treated 17 people for injuries over the three days. It’s believed the majority of the incidents are related to gang activity in the city.
On Monday, the federal, provincial and municipal governments announced they would each be contributing $1.5 million for city police to handle gun violence in the city. Officers are expected to unveil their plans for the additional funding in the coming days.
During an a media availability in Toronto on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is considering additional measures to gun control, but that they would be announced alongside Liberals’ upcoming re-election platform.
In the past, Toronto Mayor John Tory has called on the federal government to implement a complete ban on handguns, but the request has not yet been granted.
The Conservatives, both provincially and federally, have promised to tackle Toronto’s violent crimes by taking a hard stance against gangs, rather than guns.
With files from The Canadian Press