Edmonton's 36 homicides in 2017 not enough to call a trend, experts say
The homicide total is inching closer to the 42 cases in 2016, the highest number since 2012
With a stabbing death earlier this week now confirmed as Edmonton's 36th homicide of the year, the number continues to inch closer to the 2016 total.
The 42 homicides seen last year were the highest since 2012, when 30 were recorded.
The record year remains 2011, when police dealt with 48 homicide cases.
She said experts would have to study statistics from the past 10 to 15 years to determine whether Edmonton's homicide rate is a trend.
"I think what we're going to find is that there's just a lot of factors that played among each other that somehow worked this way," Jung said.
There's no way to predict how the year will end or what next year will look like, she said.
Jung said Edmonton's growing population, including the influx of people moving south after the Fort McMurray fires, as well as an increase in alcohol use may add to the crimes.
Keith Spencer, a former University of Alberta criminologist, argues Edmonton's young and single demographic is a factor in the homicide cases, as well as gangs competing for drug and prostitution business.
He said the rate doesn't necessarily make the city a more dangerous place to live for most people.
"What we know about murder generally is that it usually is something that occurs between people who know each other," he said. "They knew the killer and they were in a relationship with that person, either in the drug business or socially or whatever."
Edmonton police are investigating another suspicious death from Monday, when a man was found dead in a residence near 111th Avenue and 94th Street.