Gun and Gang Violence
Firearm-related homicides in Canada have been steadily increasing, reaching a total of 223 in 2016, 44 more than the previous year. Shootings have now become the most common method of homicide, surpassing homicide by stabbing and beating. Gang-related homicides involving guns are no exception. In 2016 alone, police reported 141 gang-related homicides, 45 more than in 2015. Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled.
In November 2017, the federal government announced approximately $327.6 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $100 million annually thereafter, in new federal funding to tackle the increase in gun related violence and gang activity in Canada. This initiative will bring together federal, provincial and territorial efforts to support community-level prevention and enforcement efforts, build and leverage unique federal expertise and resources to advance intelligence related to the illegal trafficking of firearms, and invest in border security to interdict illicit goods including guns and drugs. Funding would also be provided to Indigenous organizations to help build capacity through education, outreach and research, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities and urban populations. The Initiative will help reduce gun and gang violence so that Canadians can feel safe in their communities.
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- A gang is a group of people who claim a territory and use it to make money through illegal activities (i.e., drug trafficking). Community organizations can reduce gang activity, so host a basketball tournament at your local Boys & Girls Club. Sign up for Off-the-Street Ball.
- Gangs can be organized based upon race, ethnicity, territory, or money-making activities, and are generally made up of members ages 8 to 22.
- Members of gangs wear specific articles of clothing to be recognized as part of the group such as bandanas, hats, scarves of certain colors, or gang-related tattoos or symbols.
- Gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes both on and off school property.
- When joining a gang, often times there is an initiation that needs to be passed. This initiation is usually a violent crime that could include theft, murder, gang-rape, or drive-by shootings.
- Gang members are more likely to be arrested or involved with drugs and alcohol than non-gang members.
- 86% of US cities with a population of 100,000 or more report gang activity.
- According to the FBI in 2011, there were 33,000 violent street, motorcycle, and prison gangs active in the U.S., with more than 1.4 million members (a 40% increase from 2009).
- In recent years, gangs are participating in more non-traditional crimes such as prostitution, alien smuggling, and human trafficking, identity theft, and mortgage fraud. These new, non-traditional crimes create higher profitability and lower visibility.
- According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland and Oklahoma City – are the U.S. capitals of gang homicide.
- Neighborhood-based gangs pose the highest rate of significant threat for violent crimes in the U.S, versus national-level street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs.