Gun violence in Toronto is reaching record highs as the city is combating more shootings to date than in recent years, according to Toronto Police data,
The city had 451 shootings as of Dec. 1, more than by the same time last year. The mid-August totals were the highest of any year since 2014.
The 2019 shootings have resulted in 35 deaths thus far, a 30-per-cent decrease from this time last year. There have also been 167 non-fatal injuries from shootings in 2019, more than this time in any of the past six years.
According to Toronto Police Chris Neil, the majority of the gun violence is gang-related. ”The spotlight of this particular issue is gang activity. Following the August long weekend we responded to 14 separate shootings over the course of three days, and they were mostly gang-related incidences.”
Toronto Police Chief Marc Saunders announced a $4.5-million project funded by all three levels of government in August. Two hundred additional officers will be sent to high-risk areas.
Lori Larkin, 22, a resident of Markham, says the priority should be getting guns off the streets not adding more officers. “They should get guns off the streets, that’s how simple it is. I don’t think adding more officers is going to impact as much as people think, they should get their priorities in check and look at the common problem which is guns.”