Winnipeg, MB: A violent and bloody weekend in Winnipeg that left three people dead and five people in hospital is just the latest example of why more police resources are urgently needed to keep people safe.
“We have been saying this for years, and we will continue saying it until the mayor and his council finally decide to do something about it,” said Maurice Sabourin, President, Winnipeg Police Association. “Winnipeg has a serious and out-of-control crime problem, and it will only get worse unless steps are taken to reverse it. The city has recorded 36 homicides in 2019, five short of the highest total on record. A 14-year old girl has tragically lost her life. Four people – including an infant child under the age of two – were just shot at close range in their own home. We know that no elected official ever wants to see these things happen. But the state of violent crime in our city today is a reflection of policy decisions started in 2014. So when will Mayor Bowman and Winnipeg City Council – the elected officials responsible for those decisions – begin to fix the problem?”
Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) Constable Rod Carver called it “a stunning 18 hours” and noted the WPS “only have so many officers we can pull in”. A WPS news release issued Sunday evening says the incidents “have placed a significant strain on Winnipeg Police Service resources” and that they “will continue to triage all calls for service and prioritize personal and public safety over property concerns and incidents where there is no immediate threat.”
Sabourin says Mayor Bowman and Winnipeg City Council have a moral obligation to start protecting the people of Winnipeg.
“Since 2014 we have been saying that this is a question of priorities,” states Sabourin. “Our violent crime problem will not be addressed with tweets. It will be addressed with additional resources for the WPS to ensure members are on the streets. The Mayor and Council say there are no more resources, but there always seems to be money for pet projects. Mayor Bowman has been in office for five years. The allocation of sufficient resources to the WPS starts with his office, the priorities he sets and the decisions he makes.”
According to the WPS’ own Annual Statistical Report released this past summer, violent crime has increased 18% over the past five years, while property crime skyrocketed 19% from 2017 and is now up more than 40% over the past five years.
“The fear that many Winnipeggers are currently feeling each and every day is entirely consistent with the factual data we are seeing,” added Sabourin. “The people of Winnipeg have been clear and consistent that crime and security are top priorities. Let’s act now to start reversing this trend.”
Winnipeg Police Association