Shootings have doubled over five years, but may be dropping now

Figures released on Toronto Police Service's new online portal

The number of shootings annually in this city in the past five years has nearly doubled over the previous decade, according to figures on gun violence released by the Toronto Police Service today.

From 2016 to 2020, police recorded 436 shootings per year, compared to 228 per year between 2004 and 2015.

Recent figures, though, show shootings may be declining over the past two years.

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The rising figures were reported in a press release announcing the service’s annual update to its Public Safety Data Portal, which presents downloadable data on crimes, including murders, shootings, assaults, break-ins and robberies.

The new “Shootings and Firearms Discharges Data” part of the website shows shooting-related incidents between 2004 and 2020, including maps and neighbourhood statistics.

“By publicly posting the numbers of when, where, and how often residents of our city are victims of gun violence, we are providing the facts that will help us have an honest conversation about the community partnerships and investment that are needed to keep our streets safe,” police chief James Ramer said.

The shooting data indicates gun violence has been increasing steadily in the city since 2015, according to the news release.

“Gun violence is on the rise in our city and is understandably of increasing concern to us and to the residents of Toronto,” said Ian Williams, manager of analytics and innovation for the police, in the release.

So far this year, 64 shootings and firearm discharges have been reported, down from last year’s 94 incidents at this time, according to other information on the portal. Last year we ended up with 462 shootings and firearms discharges. That itself was slightly fewer than 2019’s total of 492 such incidents, the highest ever recorded.

Police are also reporting a decrease in major crimes over the past two years, with offences having decreased by 13 per cent from 2019 to 2020.

However, auto thefts peaked in 2020 at 5,666 offences, an increase of about six per cent in that time period.


This is a developing story. We’ll have more on the effect on local neighbourhoods shortly.

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Posted: Mar 24 2021 2:06 pm