Hamilton Police Note Increase in Crime Guns
Hamilton Police continue to see an increase in the number of guns on Hamilton streets.
On Saturday, November 12, 2022, officers responded to Hess Village after a report that a male was waving a gun around and had fled down George Street. The investigation revealed a bystander had observed an assault on a male victim and intervened. The group then turned on the bystander and one of the males drew a firearm and pointed it at him. The bystander fled to a local hotel and called police. The male suspect was arrested a short time later and found to be in possession of a semi-automatic firearm.
In the past seven days alone, Hamilton Police have seized four crime guns from a variety of incidents. On November 7, a semi-automatic firearm was recovered during a traffic stop and two other loaded firearms were found in a vehicle after two suspects were arrested for a shooting on Minto Avenue.
“The increase in firearms is a shocking trend that we continue to see year over year. While we know the majority of firearm-related incidents are targeted, this does not bring me any comfort. I fear that one of these shootings will end with an innocent bystander struck by a stray bullet,” said Deputy Chief Diodati.
Since the beginning of the year, police have seized 228 total crime guns, 18 of which were recovered during traffic-related stops. This is up from 224 in 2021, 185 in 2020 and 190 in 2019. Many of the guns recovered have been linked to serious crimes across the GTA.
“In the beginning of my career, finding a gun during a traffic stop was an anomaly. Now we are regularly recovering guns during routine traffic stops,” said Diodati.
Furthermore, Hamilton Police are seeing a number of individuals charged with repeated firearm-related offences. In 2021, 16 per cent of suspects charged with a firearm offence had faced previous charges for the same crime.
Hamilton has also seen a 29 per cent rise in shootings from this time last year. To date, there have been 36 shootings and 13 victims.
“Creating a safer Hamilton will take an effort from everyone. These increases in guns and shootings should be a concern for all Hamilton residents. It’s not just a police issue, it’s a community issue,” added Diodati.