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.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

Mission to host We’re Your Neighbours immigration forum

Baltej Dhillon will be the guest speaker at the event set for March 17

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Victoria-bound passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

League’s all-stars hit the ice in Langley

PJHL hosts top junior B players for all-star game

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Council tells TransLink commission to make sure road pricing is fair

Maple Ridge tells road pricing commission to make sure system is fair

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Most Read