Thunder Bay Remains Crime Issue with 15 Murders in 2022

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The number of murders is rising, especially in certain provinces and communities

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Across Canada, the number of murders, also known as homicides, has been increasing for four years. In 2022, the police reported 874 homicides. That’s 78 more than the year before. The increase in homicides was mainly in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. Sadly, the murder rate in Manitoba and Saskatchewan was the highest among all provinces.

In the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut, the homicide rates were also higher than the country’s average in 2022. But because these areas have a smaller population, their rates can change a lot from year to year.

In 2022, Thunder Bay set a very grim record with 15 homicides recorded. Statistics Canada is reporting that homicides are up across Canada, and sadly Thunder Bay was no exception.

The full report on 2022 homicides will be published later this week. Thunder Bay will likely be near, if not atop the list for 2022.

High Rates of Murders in Indigenous and Racialised Groups

Indigenous people in Canada are more likely to be victims of violence, including murder. This can be linked to the long-lasting negative effects of colonization and ongoing discrimination against Indigenous communities.

In 2022, the police reported 225 homicides of Indigenous people. That’s 32 more than the year before. Sadly, the homicide rate among Indigenous people was almost seven times higher than for non-Indigenous people.

Racialized people, who belong to one of the visible minority groups, made up almost a third of all murder victims in 2022. The murder rate among racialized people was also higher than the rate for the non-racialized and non-Indigenous population. Most racialized victims were identified as Black or South Asian.

Police Reported Crime Serged by 4% in 2022

According to the report from Statistics Canada, police-reported crime across the country, gauged through the Crime Severity Index (CSI), experienced a 4% surge in 2022, marking its second year of consecutive increase. The Violent CSI notably ascended last year, hitting its peak since 2007. In contrast, while the Non-violent CSI witnessed a hike in 2022, it remained subdued compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The sequential growth in the overall CSI might suggest a resurgence of the upward trajectory in crime rates, seen prior to the pandemic’s onset. In the initial year of COVID-19, a slump in the total magnitude and severity of police-reported crime was noticeable, primarily due to a reduction in non-violent crime, coinciding with the enforcement of lockdown protocols. However, before this downturn, the CSI had been on a five-year ascending trend from 2015, escalating by 19%.

The Violent CSI climbed 5% in 2022, trailing a 6% rise from 2021. The year-on-year increase in the Violent CSI for 2022 comprised elevated incidences of robbery (up by 15%), extortion (up by 39%), homicide (up by 8%), and level 1 sexual assault (up by 3%).

On the other hand, the Non-violent CSI, which encapsulates crimes like property offences and drug offences, experienced a 4% increase in 2022, but was still 6% less than 2019 figures. The primary reason behind the 2022 uptick was higher frequencies of various property crimes, namely motor vehicle theft (up by 24%), breaking and entering (up by 4%), minor theft (valued at $5,000 or less, up by 10%), shoplifting (valued at $5,000 or less, up by 31%) and general fraud (up by 7%). In a contrasting trend, rates for other non-violent infractions, including drug offences (down by 17%), identity fraud (down by 11%), identity theft (down by 8%), impaired driving (down by 3%), and administration of justice violations (down by 2%) declined from 2021.

The CSI assesses both the volume and the intensity of crime. The police-reported crime rate, representing the total number of crimes, saw a 5% rise from 2021 to 2022, reaching 5,668 incidents per 100,000 population. Similar to the CSI, the crime rate in 2022 was 4% lower than the 2019 figures.

Overall Thunder Bay Crime Statistics for 2022

Geography38910 Thunder Bay, Ontario [35595] (map)
Violations11 Total, all violations [0]
Statistics 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Actual incidents 8,083 9,308 8,106 8,290 7,771
Rate per 100,000 population12 6,479.20 7,409.18 6,445.56 6,661.04 6,241.22
Percentage change in rate13 0.09 14.35 -13.01 3.34 -6.30
Percentage contribution to the Crime Severity Index (CSI)1415 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Unfounded incidents16 280 206 308 157 104
Percent unfounded16 3.35 2.17 3.66 1.86 1.32
Total cleared 3,781 4,122 4,341 4,484 4,157
Cleared by charge 2,739 3,193 3,277 3,357 2,973
Cleared otherwise 1,042 929 1,064 1,127 1,184
Total, persons charged17 2,709 3,086 3,302 3,355 2,904
Rate, total persons charged per 100,000 population aged 12 years and over1218 2,446.18 2,764.42 2,950.48 3,028.01 2,619.47
Total, adult charged 2,563 2,928 3,170 3,178 2,723
Rate, adult charged per 100,000 population aged 18 years and over1218 2,478.22 2,805.43 3,028.83 3,068.78 2,629.90
Total, youth charged1920 146 158 132 177 181
Rate, youth charged per 100,000 population aged 12 to 17 years1218 1,993.72 2,175.11 1,819.94 2,444.75 2,472.00
Total, youth not charged1920 167 105 145 139 176
Rate, youth not charged per 100,000 population aged 12 to 17 years1218 2,280.49 1,445.48 1,999.17 1,919.89 2,403.71


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