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Edmonton seeing spike in violent assaults

For Immediate Release: 07-Aug-2020 @ 1:30 PM
MRU #: 20R072

Police are seeing a 27% increase in violence compared to Edmonton’s three-year average, driven largely by an increase in serious, violent assaults, including an 88% increase in assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm. 

The Edmonton Police Service uses several indicators to measure crime across the city, such as violence, disorder and property crimes. Violence indicators include assault, robbery, sexual assault and homicide.

In July 2020, the Edmonton Police Service saw a 25% increase in violence indicators over July 2019.  The July 2020 violence indicators saw an increase of 27% compared to the three-year average (July 2017-2019).

Of these indicators, assault was the main driver of the increase.  More specifically, the category of assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm increased by 56% and aggravated assault increased by 43% in July 2020 over July 2019.  Compared to the July three-year average (2017-2019), assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm increased 88% in July 2020, while aggravated assault increased 34% in July 2020.

Percent change: 2020 compared to 2019

 

March

April

May

June

July

Assault – Aggravated

+36%

+16%

-19%

+3%

+43%

Assault – Bodily harm/weapon

+12%

+0.6%

+17%

+30%

+56%

Assault Overall

-5%

-13%

-4%

+5%

+29%

Percent change: 2020 compared to 3-year average (2017-2019)

 

March

April

May

June

July

Assault – Aggravated

+55%

+34%

+21%

+48%

+34%

Assault – Bodily harm/weapon

+15%

+9%

+35%

+35%

+88%

Assault Overall

-5%

-8%

-3%

+5%

+33%

Since July 11, 2020, there have been eight suspicious deaths in Edmonton, five of which have been confirmed as homicides. August 6, 2020 was a particularly violent day for Edmonton, with two new death investigations opened by the Homicide Section. A violent, random assault also occurred at 98 Avenue and 104 Street at about 7:45 pm last night, when a male reportedly approached a female who was waiting in the passenger side of a parked vehicle, asked for money, and then stabbed her multiple times. She was taken to hospital with serious non-life-threatening injuries. A 20-year-old male was taken into custody and is facing charges including aggravated assault, robbery, and possession of offensive weapon.

“While it’s difficult to speculate on why this is occurring, the increase in violent assaults is certainly concerning,” says Supt. Brad Doucette, with the EPS Criminal Investigations Division. “Especially when we see assaults with a weapon or causing bodily harm and aggravated assault on the rise – these are serious charges under the Criminal Code that are used when the victim’s life is put at risk.”

Serious assaults and calls for service involving weapons often require greater resources, including a larger officer response and more investigators. The EPS has pulled in resources from other investigative areas that remain stable or have seen decreases in workload in order to assist areas that are overtasked, such as Homicide Section.

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For media inquiries please contact the EPS Media Relations Unit at
780-421-3551.

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