Regina gun theft of 'great concern' for community safety advocate
'We've seen more shootings within the community,' says Shawna Oochoo
The theft of a dozen guns in Regina has a safety advocate in the city worried.
Police are investigating a burglary of 12 long guns from Regina's Pawn King store over the weekend.
"We already have a lot of gun-related violence occurring within the community. Are we going to start seeing more?" wondered Shawna Oochoo, the co-founder of White Pony Lodge, a group that patrols the city's North Central neighbourhood.
"It's definitely a great concern, not only for myself but also for the community as well."
Gun crime on the rise
In 2016, there was a 94 per cent increase in violent gun offences over the five-year average.
"In the past couple months, we've seen more gun-related crimes. We've seen more shootings within the community," Oochoo said.
In response, Regina police ran a gun amnesty earlier this month, taking 157 unwanted guns from owners.
Fifty-five firearms were reported stolen last year: that is 20 more than the previous year. But police say those numbers probably do not tell the whole story because some people may not report a stolen gun.
Plus, Regina police seized 343 guns in 2016, a 30 per cent increase from 2015.