Guns proliferate Durham at ‘concerning’ rate in 2022 cops tell Whitby HQ


Published July 20, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Crime guns are becoming all the more common across Durham Region at a rate local police find “concening.”

As reports of violence and murder head toward a five year high, the use of guns in these crimes has likewise risen. Five years ago in 2017, about 8 per cent of people Durham police arrested were in violation of court order banning them from owning a gun.

In 2022 so far that number has quadrupled to 32 per cent.

In an address to Durham Regional Council Deputy Chief Joseph Mariano said the new number is, “very concerning and speaks to the level of criminality we are dealing with everyday.”

The number of people arrested on gun charges was trending higher in 2022 than the previous three years.

Prior to Mariano’s update, shootings in the Region were actually trending downward. However between completing his report and presenting it to Council, a gunman opened fire in an Oshawa bar killing two and injuring three others.

This and similar activity in June, including a Whitby stabbing death, pushed the numbers of murder investigations up above the 2021 total. Last year nine incidents claim 12 lives. So far this year 10 people have been murdered already.

Due to Durham Police’s concern regarding gun crime, officers are “working diligently” Mariano said, to take crime guns of the street before they are used in shootings of serious crimes.

These many gun seizures culminated in May with a large joint investigation led by DRPS. Working with numerous services across Ontario they charged 20 people, seized $4.45 million in drugs, nine guns and $226,000 in cash.

The nine month investigation led to 31 police raids throughout, resulting in 23 arrests on 145 collective drug and gun charges.


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