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‘There’s no pattern to them’: Saskatoon police chief troubled by homicide rate

Saskatoon's interim police Chief Dave Haye is shown in this photo. Saskatoon's interim police Chief Dave Haye is shown in this photo.
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Saskatoon's interim police Chief Dave Haye says he’s troubled by the rise in homicides this year.

“We’re really concerned about the number of homicides we’ve had this year. We’re up to eight,” he said in an interview with CTV News this week.

The number of killings has nearly doubled over the same period last year. According to Saskatoon Police Service data, there were a total of 12 homicides in 2023.

Haye says the thing that makes these cases challenging is the lack of pattern.

“There is no pattern to them … some are related to drugs, some are related to gangs, some were actually just a terrible accident,” Haye said.

Two homicides occurred just this week — a 25-year-old man was fatally shot, and a 24-year-old woman was found dead in a basement suite.

Police said they still investigating these two homicides, and they haven’t released other information.

“Our investigators are working hard, gathering evidence and hopefully we identify and we will identify the people who’re responsible,” Haye said.

The interim police chief said of those eight homicides, police have laid charges in six of them.

According to the Saskatchewan RCMP major crimes unit, there was 50 per cent increase in the number of homicide victims in their detachment areas from 2019 to 2023.

According to the RCMP’s January report, 20 homicides were reported in 2019, compared to 31 in 2020, 33 in 2021, 42 in 2022, and 30 in 2023.

When it comes to persistent concerns about the perception of crime and safety in Fairhaven, the Saskatoon interim police chief says it requires a whole city approach to deal with the issues there.

He said he had a discussion with the Saskatoon mayor and city manager about a whole-city approach.

“The actual solution is something other than crime fighting. When we go in where we’re working within the law that we’re allowed to work within … other organizations can actually provide solutions that we aren’t able to,” he said.

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