Firearms seizures on the rise in Windsor

Windsor police seized 389 firearms last year, including guns, stun guns, cross bows, bows, blowguns and other prohibited devices.
Windsor police Superintendent John St. Louis says proactive policing is behind the rise in the increase in seized firearms in Windsor. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Firearms seizures in Windsor are on the rise with police seizing more weapons in 2015 than in any other year in the past five years, according to the latest statistics.

Windsor police seized 389 firearms last year. That number includes guns, stun guns, cross bows, bows, blowguns and other prohibited devices, according to a report delivered to the Police Service Board Thursday.  

There were 444 police calls where a firearm was present. Out of the 389 items seized, 236 were either long guns or handguns.

"We're seeing our officers...responding to more calls for service where a firearm is mentioned or related to the call in some aspect," Superintendent John St. Louis said.

"It's of some concern. The officers have to be aware of that and the sort of collateral issues that come with firearms and firearm-related violence," he said.

Over the past five years, apart from 2013, gun seizures have been rising. According to police reports the numbers are: 

  • 2011: 209
  • 2012: 241
  • 2013: 136
  • 2014: 184
  • 2015: 236

St. Louis said that number is a result of better proactive enforcement by police. He said they're getting better information and are acting on it.

"Our relationship with the community is contingent upon each and every interaction we have," he said. "Each and every day we're evaluated and judged based on how we provide that service to the community. It's something we can't rest on our laurels on how we did yesterday. It's all about what we're doing now and how we can better provide it tomorrow."

Though the number of violent crime is up about 4 per cent, overall, Windsor police reported an 80 per cent solvency rate.

The most common major crime was sexual assault, with 156 reported over the year.

"We need the public to solve crime and they're working with us and our statistics show that," Deputy Chief Vince Power said. "When you're at an 80 percentile, that's a high percentage in solving criminal activity."