Murder capital no more

Abbotsford sheds the title it garnered in 2008 and 2009, following the release of the latest homicide figures.

The body of Jimmy Chau of Edmonton was found in a field on Farmer Road in January of this year. It's one of three homicides that occurred in Abbotsford in 2012.

Once dubbed the Murder Capital of Canada, Abbotsford continues to shed that title, according to the latest homicide figures released Tuesday by Statistics Canada.

Now, the Abbotsford-Mission census metropolitan area (CMA) is among the 10 cities with the lowest homicide rates for 2011.

As well, the area is one of only two CMAs west of Ontario that did not have a gang-related murder last year.

Abbotsford-Mission recorded one homicide in 2011, but Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said that occurred in a local prison. This compares to four murders in 2010, 11 in 2009 and six in 2008.

The 2008 and 2009 figures sent Abbotsford to the top of the list for the most murders per 100,000 people.

Now topping the list of 34 CMAs is Winnipeg, with a rate of 5.08, followed by Halifax (4.41) and Edmonton (4.17). Abbotsford’s rate is .56, compared to its 2010 rate of 2.28.

The national average is 1.73, which is up slightly from the previous figure of 1.62. The provincial average is 1.9, compared to the 2010 rate of 1.83.

MacDonald said the drop in Abbotsford’s homicide rate can be attributed to a focused effort on reducing gang-related violence following the tragedies of 2008 and 2009.

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) held an awareness campaign and made school presentations about the impact of gang involvement.

MacDonald said the initiatives were fully supported by the community, which was fed up with the violence that, in some cases, had been played out in city streets.

The department’s gang suppression unit was formed in early 2010, and has focused ever since on arresting key players and intercepting and impeding criminal activity.

“It’s really hard for people to do drug transactions if police are everywhere,” MacDonald said.

However, although gang-related murders and violence have dropped, gangs are still an issue in the community, he said.

The Duhre Group, named by the APD in 2010 as the prevalent gang in the city, is still active but not as strong as it once was. Other gangs are battling for dominance, which creates a risk to the community, as evidenced by recent gang-related murders throughout the Lower Mainland.

“The volatility exists here, but  we’re doing everything we can to ensure it doesn’t manifest in a violent way. But that’s always a challenge and a work in progress,” MacDonald said.

So far in 2012, there have been three murders in Abbotsford:

Ryan Saint Ange, 21, was found dead in his home on 56 Avenue on Jan. 13. Robert Van Dusen and Shayne Vauthrin, both 27, have been charged with his murder. A date for trial has not yet been set.

Jimmy Chau, 31, of Edmonton was found Feb. 18 in a field on Farmer Road in what is believed to be a gang-related murder. No suspects have been charged.

Nirmal Bains, 80, was found dead on May 5 in a farmworkers’ cabin on his family’s raspberry farm on Huntingdon Road. No suspects have been charged.

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

VIDEO: Medea Ebrahimian mourned by friends and family

Memorial held for one of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

Fort Langley Artists Group showcases art virtually to help hospice

Fifty per cent of painting proceeds will be donated to Langley Hospice Society

VIDEO: Langley Ukulele Ensemble opens doors for socially distanced kids camp in August

Instructor Peter Luongo said precautions are being taken for the annual uke week, Aug. 24 to 28

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read