Guns and gangs, every city across the country in one way shape or form has been dealing with gun violence.
In part two of our three part series, Nicole Martin sat down with Hamilton, Halton and Niagara’s Chiefs of Police to talk about the local concerns.
At the start of the summer, Toronto Police seized their largest single stash of guns in raids targeting 75 members of the Five Point Generals Gang.
Halton police were apart of that combined take down getting 78 guns off the streets.
Chief Tanner from the Halton Regional Police says, “My view is, we know these guns are getting into Canada and the only way to get them off the street once their here is investigations.”
And more so now than ever before, police forces have been teaming up to solve crime and that’s because the majority of the people firing the weapons are moving in and out of neighbouring cities.
“Those who have the handguns haven’t taken training course quite often, are not particularly good at placing the rounds where they want to which is at the advantage for the victim but not to the general public.” says Chief Eric Girt from the Hamilton Police.
Bordering with the United States, Niagara Regional Police have an officer positioned south of the border.
“Try to gather as much intelligence as we can about firearms coming into the country. Persons who may be armed.” says, Niagara Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch.
How do they get them across the border?
“Well you know there are lots of ways. First of all it’s a big border. A lot of it is unprotected but I think a lot of them are coming through in vehicles and taking a chance of bringing 10 or 20 or if you are bringing 20 why not 50.” says Tanner.
“The vast majority of our guns coming into Canada are coming from the U.S.” according to MacCulloch
And the Chiefs say most of the criminals have ties to drugs.
Unlike Toronto, the number of shootings in Hamilton, Halton and Niagara have been relatively low.
For 13 years in a row, the predominately affluent Halton Region has maintained the lowest overall crime rate.
Niagara has had only 3 shootings to date. Chief MacCulloch credits his officers who work tirelessly to solve each case.
As of early this morning there have been 15 shootings in Hamilton.
“Crimes are solved with corollary evidence from SCI stuff, all the forensic pieces. But the fundamental way to solve crime is get information. Information comes from members of the public who have seen things.” says Girt
In comparison, Toronto has had over 240 shootings year to date.