Police are searching for a gunman in the brazen attempted murder of a 50-year-old man who was shot at a Brampton strip plaza last Sunday.
Police say his injuries are serious, but not life threatening, and he is recovering in a Toronto trauma centre.
He is Peel’s 19th gunshot victim this year, as shootings have soared by more than 130 per cent compared to the same time period last year.
In all of 2015, Peel Regional Police say there were 21 people shot in Brampton and Mississauga. With 19 shooting victims so far, 2016 is looking like it will easily surpass that number.
There were 17 shooting victims in all of 2014.
While crime overall has been on the decline in Brampton and Mississauga between 2011 and 2015, there has been a “spike” in violent crime so far in 2016, according to Peel police Chief Jennifer Evans.
“Criminals are becoming quicker to use violence as a solution to whatever situation they are dealing with,” Evans says.
This year has seen an increase in stabbings, too, with 81 in the first five months of 2016, compared to 68 in the same time period in 2015.
The number of robberies is up, too. There have been 312 (174 with weapons) in the first five months of this year, compared to 240 (127 with weapons) in the same time period last year. That’s a 30 per cent increase (37 per cent increase in robberies with weapons).
In 22 per cent of robberies, the bandits are after cash, while in 25 per cent of the cases, they want cellphones, she says.
Among the measures Evans has introduced to combat rising crime is the creation of Community Engagement Teams in each police division. The concept began testing at Brampton’s 22 Division last October, and in the months that followed, the 22 Division team laid 399 criminal charges, 361 Liquor License Act charges, and 89 drug charges. It also issued 305 cautions to adults and 23 cautions to youth under 18 years. – CINEWS