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Sask. RCMP reports 50% increase in homicides between 2019 and 2023


Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes Unit is reporting a 50 per cent increase in the number of homicide victims from 2019 to 2023.

In a media release sent by Sask. RCMP on Wednesday, 20 homicides were reported in 2019, compared to 31 in 2020, 33 in 2021, 42 in 2022, and 30 in 2023.

The numbers from 2022 included the 11 victims of the mass stabbings on James Smith Cree Nation and in Weldon, Sask., RCMP said.

Clusters of homicides, or separate homicides occurring in a short period of time, are no longer an anomaly, according to Joshua Graham, officer in charge of major crimes, superintendent.

“In 2023, our Major Crimes unit had five instances where two to three separate homicides occurred in less than 48 hours,” he said in the release.

Between 2015 and 2023, there were a total of 262 homicides, 156 which took place between 2019 and now.

Sask. RCMP release homicide statistics

Of those charged with homicide, which includes first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter, 44 per cent were on condition, bail, parole, or probation at the time the crime was committed, RCMP said.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore provided some insight into why these numbers might be on the rise.

“I think over the last number of years we’ve seen significant increases in mental health issues and much of the violent crime that we’re seeing is driven by a lot of root causes for some of those violent acts,” she said.

RCMP expressed that an increase in gang violence and activity within the province is also a contributing factor.

According to the RCMP, there were 15 homicide victims in the province in 2010, 23 in 2011, 14 in 2012, 17 in 2013, and eight in 2014.

--With files from Hallee Mandryk Top Stories

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