Toronto’s gun violence problem could spread to other city centres in the GTA, including Hamilton.
According to CHCH, crime specialists say it’s only a matter of time until the gangs that are currently causing chaos in Toronto “move west on the QEW to Hamilton.” It could end up being a similar scenario there, with shootings happening “on streets with restaurants and bars” where people go out to enjoy their weekends or holidays.
While Hamilton hasn’t seen the same frequency of shootings as Toronto this year so far, it has still seen its fair share. Back in March, The Hamilton Spectator reported that the city was experiencing a rise in gun violence and gangs, with “targeted” shootings related to the illegal drug trade becoming frequent occurrences.
“This city, like many across Canada, is grappling with a surge in gun violence, including 41 shootings last year, up from 22 in 2016, 14 in 2015 and seven in 2014. There have been five shootings so far this year.”
Hamilton Police continue to work on apprehending the perpetrators and getting guns off of the streets. But some experts say police are only a part of the solution.
"For the last decade, police have been largely held responsible for the level of violence in a community and frankly that's not fair to police," said Charlie Ransford, the Director of Science and Policy at Cure Violence.
The CHCH also notes that the issue may lie within the justice system itself. While a lack of staffing within the police force could be partly to blame for the rise in gang-related activity, such could also be due to the fact that it is too easy for past offenders to get bail and be right back on the streets.