Here's How Many Shots Have Been Fired in Brampton and Mississauga This Year
While crime—and gun crime in particular—is most certainly not at crisis levels in Mississauga (or Peel in general), police say they will not treat recently released numbers on gun crimes in the region as "the new norm."
"This is not the new norm for me or for my officers," Chief Jennifer Evans said during a recent keynote speech to a group of business leaders.
"My concern is for my community, my concern is for my officers responding to these calls The escalation in gun violence, not only within our region, but across the entire GTA is certainly concerning," said Chief Evans.
As far gun violence goes, police say over 100 bullets have been fired this year.
But while the statistics might seem alarming, police stress that, overall, gun crime is low in the region.
"Gun violence remains a top priority for Peel Regional Police and that is clear when you look at crime rates," police say. "Macleans magazine recently ranked the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada and Peel ranked 116th place which was low on the list for firearms offences."
Still, police say combating gun crime is a priority.
In 2018, police estimate that 126 bullets were fired and 209 guns were taken off the street.
In 2017, it's estimated that 426 bullets were fired and more than 400 firearms were seized.
Police say firearms were seized across the GTA as part of a joint forces operation with Toronto Police, an operation they say resulted in over 1,000 charges being laid against 96 people.
"Our homicide bureau arrested and charged a man [in connection with] the shooting death of Alicia Lewandowski in March in Mississauga," police said in a news release.
"In June, we arrested and charged two people in connection with the shooting death of Jordan Buchner at Masta's Lounge in Brampton. We arrested and charged one man and issued a warrant for another [allegedly] involved in a shooting at a Mississauga plaza in May."
Police also mentioned that officers arrested and charged one man in connection with the shooting of Abrahan Lopez-Peralta in Brampton on March 13, reportedly seizing a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, a sawed-off .22-calibre rifle, a .22 calibre handgun and ammunition in the process.
"We also arrested and charged a man for [allegedly] shooting two people, Preetpal Bal and Gurmeet Singh, in Brampton on April 12."
Police say its spring gun amnesty program resulted in the collection of 34 firearms and 80 pounds of ammunition.
Police say they're working to prevent crimes involving firearms from occuring in the first place.
"We at Peel Regional Police know that getting to the bottom of gun violence is about more than just making arrests, it's about preventing gun violence in the first place," police said in a news release. That means keeping kids from joining gangs, increasing trust with our community to enhance crime reporting, and continuing to strengthen relationships."
Police also say that community involvement is important.
"With a lot of the shootings we're investigating we find there were lots of people in the room, a lot of people at the party, a lot of people in the parking lot, but nobody sees anything," says Evans.
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