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'We need to address the violent crime in Manitoba': Province's homicide rate nearly triple national average

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Grim new statistics show Manitoba once again has the highest homicide rate per capita in all of Canada.

Newly released data from Statistics Canada shows Manitoba’s homicide rate rose 40 per cent in one year from rates of 4.45 per 100,000 people in 2021 to 6.24 in 2022. That's nearly triple the national 2022 average of 2.25.

"I think the statistics highlight just how serious this situation is,” Justice Minister Matt Wiebe said. "It really puts a fine point on the fact that we need to do better and we need to address the violent crime in Manitoba."

In 2022 - 88 people across the province were killed, meaning 26 more people were killed than the year before.

The Winnipeg Police Service says so far this year there have been 38 homicides in Winnipeg. That includes the four people killed on Langside Street Sunday.

"The situation that happened on Langside the other night was absolutely horrific and tragic," Wiebe said. "I think it helped Manitobans understand just how serious this issue is."

Wiebe says the province will work to decrease gangs, get guns off the street, and address the root causes of crime.

Daniel Hidalgo, the founder of CommUNITY 204, works with people in need of mentorship and support, addressing those root causes.

He says people struggling with basic needs are more likely to turn to crime and gangs for support. In 2022, nearly one in four homicides in Canada were gang-related.

"When you're stuck in survival mode, that's often why you resort to making crimes,” Hildago said. “They don't wake up and say today I'm going to do bad things. They wake up and say how am I going to survive?"

The data from Statistics Canada also highlighted a concerning trend - rising rates of youth being accused of homicide. It says in Canada last year - the number of accused nearly doubled the 10-year average with 90 young people being accused in 2022.

"Provide mentorship and positive guidance so they themselves can identify when they're finding themselves in survival mode but they now have to navigate that,” Hildago said. "This is a beautiful city and it's full of potential and the youth that live here are no different."

Hildago says positive guidance and mentorship can go a long way.

"When you give youth that opportunity, that positive cycle and pass it on to the younger generation themselves. That's something that also really correlates with a sense of self-worth."

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