Innocent Calgarians at risk due to gun violence: City Councillor
Of the 57 shootings recorded, 30 of them took place in either Districts 5 and 10.
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Calgary Coun. Ray Jones, said “stray bullets do fly” and it’s only a “matter of time” until an innocent Calgarian falls victim to the escalating gun violence in the city.
According to CPS statistics, in 2015, up until September 14, there had been 57 shootings in Calgary and there have since been two more.
Of those 57 shootings, 30 of them took place in either Districts 4 and 5.
Calgary police Chief Paul Cook spoke to media about the increasing problem of gun violence in Calgary last week, and said the “majority of these crimes were drug and organized-crime related.”
Jones said he's met with community association presidents in his ward and although the issues did present itself as a concern, “it didn’t seem to be too great a concern.”
Les Burton, President of the Albert Park Radisson Heights Community Association said in their most recent meeting they spoke with their Calgary Police community resource officer, but shootings weren’t the main concern.
“There was more talk about car prowlings and break and enters than actual gun violence,” he said. “That could be because it hasn’t actually happened in our neighbourhood.”
Victor Goosen, Vice President of the Forest Lawn community association said given the increase gun violence they would be interested in starting a community watch program in their area.
But, he said realistically “it wouldn’t have prevented any recent shootings.”
Jones, whose ward falls in district 5, said he thinks police are doing their best job possible. He said the onus is on the courts, who he feels are failing Calgarians.
“The police are arresting these people and the courts are letting them out on bail,” he said. “Once they’re caught and there’s no doubt they did it, I think you should be left in jail.”
“You’d find the majority of people feel the same way,” he added. “The courts are too relaxed.”
Staff Sgt. Quinn Jacques said investigating gun and gang related crimes have become more difficult over the years, due to “fleeting criminal relationships.”
“In the old regime we had two charts of opposing sides,” he said last week. “Now we don’t really have those two factions and it makes it more complicated to investigate.”