Amid a spate of shootings, a stabbing and robberies Hamilton Police are promising to make more resources available to stem the crime wave.
“I have seen these numbers rise since I joined Hamilton Police Service in 2018. This can’t be our new normal. Thanks to our members for their hard work in tackling these challenging issues. We have to be relentless in addressing crime and work closely with our community to find solutions to the increasing trend,” says Chief Frank Bergen.
The statement comes as Hamilton Police responded to a number of incidents over the weekend, capping off a week of increasing violence in Hamilton.
“We should all be disturbed by the events over the weekend. We can’t be lulled into complacency by accepting this is what our city has become,” said Bergen.
On Saturday, December 3, 2022, shortly after 4:00 a.m., Hamilton Police responded to the area of Main Street East and Catharine Street South after multiple gun shots were heard. Police confirmed a shooting incident occurred after bullet casings were located in the area. There were no reported injuries.
On Sunday, December 4, 2022, at approximately 2:34 a.m., Hamilton Police responded to reports of a shooting that had just occurred in the area of Catharine St N and King William St. Upon police arrival an adult male victim was located. The victim was taken to hospital and his injury was determined to be non life-threatening. Police located a male suspect on scene who was taken into custody without incident.
On Sunday, December 4, 2022, shortly after 9:00 a.m., a lone male suspect was found to be stealing from a commercial business located in the area of Main Street East and Emerald Street. The suspect was taking food and other items from the store. As the suspect was leaving the store, he was approached by a staff member. During the interaction with staff, the male suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the staff member prior to fleeing the area on foot.
Since November 27, 2022, there have been five shootings, two robberies where a firearm was brandished as well as a robbery where the suspects threatened the victim with a knife and taser. Shootings are up 24 per cent over this time last year and the city is at a higher sustained violent crime severity index, which is 16% higher than the crime severity Hamilton experienced in 2018.
Police were also able to seize two crimes guns over the weekend. A pistol with extended magazine capacity was seized during a warrant on December 2 and a gun was found in a car after the December 4 shooting near Catharine Street. To date, Hamilton Police have seized 234 crime guns from Hamilton streets.