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DebraW
20-11-2006, 05:58 PM
Edmonton's murder rate rooted in demographics: experts

By BOB WEBER
Canoe.com
November 20, 2006
EDMONTON (CP) - One was a popular teen at his 17th birthday party, the other a young out-of-towner enjoying a night in the city with a few friends.

Both are now dead, victims of weekend stabbings that have sent Edmonton's country-leading murder rates even higher, rates that experts suggest are at least partly rooted in the city's economic good times. "With all the good the boom brings, the Alberta advantage is also the Alberta disadvantage in that you get a corresponding raise in criminal activity," said Keith Spencer, a retired professor of criminology at the University of Alberta.

Edmonton's 33rd and 34th homicide victims met their ends early Sunday morning.

Evan Grykukiak was celebrating his birthday at a community league hall when he was stabbed at about 1:30 a.m. About an hour later, Saskatchewan native Dylan McGillis, 23, was leaving a bar with some friends when a dispute with passersby grew violent.

Their deaths came the week after Statistics Canada released a study showing Edmonton had the highest murder rate among major Canadian cities.

The Alberta capital, with 4.29 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2005, surpassed Winnipeg's rate of 3.72.

And after this weekend, Edmonton is on pace to break last year's record of 44 victims.

"This is the number 1 issue," said Mayor Stephen Mandel. "People have to know that Edmonton is a safe city."

Analysts point out that the city's population mix is shifting as its booming economy attracts workers from all over Canada. As many as 83,000 new Edmontonians are expected within the next five years, twice the immigration rate city planners expected.

Spencer said many of those newcomers are young males, the demographic most likely to be involved with or victimized by crime. Many are attracted by the perception of quick money in energy megaprojects, or may be visiting the city from northern boomtowns with cash stuffed in their jeans.

Not all are making big bucks, but Spencer says the fact that good money is out there raises the temperature all around.

"In a depression, there's nothing to steal and there's nobody out roaring around in the middle of the night having a good time."

Calgary, just three hours to the south, saw 2.45 murders per 100,000 last year. But that white-collar city is attracting a different mix.

"We have a larger percentage of single males," Spencer said.

"That's different than a big oil company in Calgary bringing in a 35-year-old accountant with his wife and four children."

Michael Gulayets, a criminologist at Edmonton's Grant MacEwan College, agrees that the city's changing demographics may be the largest single cause.

"It's mainly our bringing in young males. If we look at homicide, it's usually young males who are offenders."
Mandel acknowledged the boom is part of the problem.

"We have a greater number of people moving to town. Many of them are frustrated, not everybody is benefiting as well from this."

But he added blaming demographics isn't good enough. He said the city would increase police presence at trouble spots and called for judges to start passing tougher sentences on young people convicted of violent offences.

"I've talked to principals of high schools and they've said, 'There's no deterrent for kids today, Nothing's going to happen and they know that.' "

But Spencer says tougher sentences and more cops aren't likely to solve the whole problem.

"You can wish and hope and do a lot of things, but the magnet of the big, easy money is real strong here right now."

--30--



Ed Note: The reasoning of demographics being responsible for the murder rate is an excuse but is not excusable.

Lack of community connection contributes.

However, what I would like to see is how many "murderers" (who are of course presumed innocent until proven guilty) have connections to Edmonton or are indeed new immigrants.

Until someone shows me, ACTUAL data this reasoning is speculation only. Media, criminologists and our esteemed mayor should be more responsible before throwing out un-proven ideas and reasons.

Also, we know there is a problem—how about a solution? More policing and a better justice system is a start.

Any ideas or other solutions out there?

RichardS
20-11-2006, 07:05 PM
From what I see....

Homicides are largely related to a population that lives rather "underground". Gang wars stay with each others.

The others are more a reflection on our useless YCJA in my opinion. There needs to be an example set the next time a so called minor kills. No more assault causing bodily harm charges for murders. No more house arrest. No more cheap bloody excuses like "Johnny didn't know". UNder teh influence or not, send a strong message that murder has NO excuse...then watch the rate especially amongst young males drop dramatically.


But then, just my opinion...

Doug
20-11-2006, 08:23 PM
This is a multi layered issue. I believe it starts in the home with a lack of proper parenting. The courts have played a role with their ridiculous sentences. The city has played a role to play with allowing too many bars in a small area (Whyte Avenue). The list goes on and on. We each need to take a look in the mirror and see if we are part of the problem or if we could play a role in finding a solution to this terrible problem.

drizzle
22-11-2006, 08:51 AM
Barely grown-up boys carrying knives....
To do so in a public place where there is no apparent need to skin a moose or build a lean-to is a sure sign of intent to commit a crime.
It hasn't been legal to carry any sort of firearm for many decades.
Current laws regarding the carrying of knives are a bit soft.

If people were made aware that there will be police spot-checks for weapons in public areas, and permitting police the power to conduct random checks would reduce the risk in our much maligned Old Strathcona. This is a security issue for everyone, in the same way that airline security has evolved to reduce and eliminate risks associated with travel.

And...it occurs to me that these knife-carrying young men probably didn't make the knives themselves. They bought them. For what purpose, though? Should easy availability be addressed???

I'll bet my son could go into a shop that sells knives and buy something absolutely lethal this afternoon, and nobody would question for what purpose. I might just send him on a mission to see how easily his money would be traded for an instrument of death.

Possession of a weapon in any public area, no matter what sort, should be punishable by a minimum prison term with mandatory psychiatric counselling.

snakes on a blog
22-11-2006, 01:47 PM
To the above, I recently heard from the John Howard Society that increasing sentances and punishment does NOT reduce violent crime in any jurisdiction. Not much of a solution there.

The fact is we have created an extremely violent society and so this violence is rubbed off onto our youth. they grow up with images of violence that lead off the news (if it bleeds it leads), video/internet gaming, movies, television, internet, music... and so on. violence is often promoted as a means to defend one's self if insulted and so violence increases in schools. violence is seen as the way to deal with rowdies by the police, so the police are using violence, why can't I? violance is promoted by our government and leaders as the only way to 'solve' terrorism, dictators, ... etc.

As we know, violance will only exasterbate any issue. Violent acts continues to spin out of control as people and governments feel they have the right to avenge the death's of their mother/father/brother/sister/daughtor/son.... and so on. These violent acts are even glorified by honouring those who kill others as a means to defend us.

The violence will increase more and more until we as individuals and as a society exibit true bravery and refuse to retaliate against those who would hurt us. Real heros are those that are brave enough to NOT retaliate whether it be by words (insults, slander, divisive speach) or actions. After all, anyone can pull a triggor or pull a knife as demonstrated by recent events. Truely exceptional people are those, like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Thoreau,, the Dali Lama, who refuse to engage in violance as a means to solve their problems and it is these people who we all look up to and remember with great fondness for their bravery.

Lets put an end to the cycle and end violence in our lives by reducing and eventually eliminating those media, thoughts and politicians that would promote violance as a means to solve our problems. Let us be an example for others to follow.

RichardS
22-11-2006, 02:22 PM
To the above, I recently heard from the John Howard Society that increasing sentances and punishment does NOT reduce violent crime in any jurisdiction. Not much of a solution there.

.


All nice and Sesame Street but I happen to live in reality. Those who would perpetrate violence against us love this hugging stuff. The source of terrorism is another topic, but as for youth violence, for some reason ever since time outs and nice kitty’s came along, I am hearing more and more of the stupidity.

...again, one study gets quoted. Yes, the visions of glorified violence can be a factor, no one will argue that. I will take issue of the insinuation that our soldiers are the problem – they are not. True warriors only fight when there is no other alternative. They don’t like it, and they will be the first to tell you that peaceful means should always be pursued first, but they are ready to defend what we hold dear the second they are needed.

I know that the simple fear of my father and mother kept me in line. I also know that I never, ever, ever had to resort to carrying a knife or a gun as a youth. I also know I saw violence with guns, knives, etc on Bugs Bunny, Spiderman, Rockford Files, Gunsmoke, Battlestar Galactica, Platoon, Star Wars, and even The Apple Dumpling Gang. Have I ever shot someone, threatened to shoot someone, pulled a knife, or relied on violence as a sole way to end a dispute - hell no. I have however defended myself when knives were pulled on me in Vancouver, NY, Chicago, Calgary, and other cities. I don't start it, but as God is my witness, I will end it. If you pull a knife on me...well, I certainly am not going to sit there and sing the Sharing Song. I will leave you alone, you just leave me alone.

What kept me from this? Guidance and the simple fear of the punishment involved. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to come across those who should be removed from the gene pool, but I don’t. Why? Simply because the punishment and the $0.25 bullet isn’t worth it, but sometimes….grrrrr. Stabbing someone over a party isn’t worth it, but they see house arrest and they don’t have the fear of their lives being put on hold. I know that some kids even say “what are you going to do about it?” when you approach them, as they know the YCJA and the lack of punitive measures is simply a joke.

Dare ya to sit there and say “let’s talk and be friends” the next time a gang of misguided youths jumps you at an LRT station, boots you in the head, pulls that knife, and gives you a “warning poke”. Oh, and your girlfriend is really pretty too, they may want her to come for “a walk”.

Yes, we should always look for peaceful measures. Yes, some things go overboard in their portrayal of violence (I shut off GTA San Andreas after a few minutes as the gameplay was just a little too far gone), and yes, we should ALWAYS look at violence as the last possible resort in conflicts of any nature. But to say that we don’t need to look at the punitive side in this debate or to say that the world will hold hands and sing in harmony (and drink a coke) is a little too far fetched for me to put my faith in. Religion alone will keep us fighting over nothing for centuries to come.

Medwards
22-11-2006, 03:51 PM
Can someone dig up some states on murders per capita per year in Edmonton?

emdubya
22-11-2006, 04:15 PM
Here are a couple ideas: Get police into the clubs and on to the streets every night (budget be damned, hire what is needed and pay the overtime to make it happen); build a criminal justice system that actually has the resources to "reform" criminals and get them back into society; fund ongoing, public anti-violence campaigns; hold a gun and knife amnesty every year; and lean on the nightclub owners already. I'm tired of Mo Blayways and Shirley Lowe acting like there's no link between nightclubs, violence, and crime. Frankly, it's an insult to my intelligence and middle finger to concerned residents and businesses.

It's been shown over and over and over again that longer and tougher sentences don't reduce crime. Arguing against longer sentences doesn't trivialize crime, it's just an appreciation of fact and statistics. If longer sentences did deter crime, US cities would be laughing right now. Our homicide rate may be tops in Canada, but it hardly registers in the States. Full-on police states may be the exception to the rule, but in those cases, the police themselves too often become the organized element the public fears—hardly a preferable situation to what we have now.

Call me looney, but our prison system needs serious reform. Guys in there after their twenties are set for a bad life. I once rode the Greyhound with a badly arthritic guy in his 40s who ran grow operations his whole life, and was just getting out of Bowden. I asked him if he would straighten out. He told me "hell no. what else would I do? I'm a lifer."

m0nkyman
23-11-2006, 12:09 AM
It's been shown over and over and over again that longer and tougher sentences don't reduce crime.

Well, how about comparing zero sentence versus sane sentencing.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act and it's predecessor the Young Offenders Act have been training children for twenty years that bad actions don't have consequences. We're not asking for Singaporean canings (http://www.corpun.com/singfeat.htm#offences) to commence. We're saying that beating people to death on the street deserves more than a stern speaking-to.

RichardS
23-11-2006, 01:11 AM
BINGO..give the man a cookie...or a beer

Grover
11-12-2006, 01:34 PM
Funny thing is, the EPS reports that violent crime for the most part is down. And statistically, it's been shown that a good economy will actually deter crime. What's scary is the randomness of violence; gangs normally eliminate each other and murder victims are usually killed by assailants they knew. But the recent Whyte Ave. and Red Light Lounge incidents indicate that maybe no one is safe. That's what triggered (no pun intended) this response, after filling out a survey on crime and public safety on edmontonlife.ca. I don't think it's a case of gang members killing gangs or kids slaying kids. :?

ChrisD
11-12-2006, 11:37 PM
Funny thing is, the EPS reports that violent crime for the most part is down. And statistically, it's been shown that a good economy will actually deter crime. What's scary is the randomness of violence; gangs normally eliminate each other and murder victims are usually killed by assailants they knew. But the recent Whyte Ave. and Red Light Lounge incidents indicate that maybe no one is safe. That's what triggered (no pun intended) this response, after filling out a survey on crime and public safety on edmontonlife.ca. I don't think it's a case of gang members killing gangs or kids slaying kids. :?
Actually, it is a FACT that the overall crime rates in Edmonton have decreased over the years. The one thing that hasn't is homicides. And those are the types of crimes that receive the most hype and publicity.

ludba
14-12-2006, 01:19 PM
/\ As part of my getting to know about Edmonton I place the Edmonon Sun's website as one of my homepages.
Man, that website makes Edmonton look like all that happens there is homicides!
I happen to be living in a city where there's a lot of homicide, so I know what happens in Edmonton in a year can happens in Moscow in just a month (no sh***ing). My friends laughed when I mention 44 killings in a year
All I am trying to say is that the media seem to be giving homicide a lot of publicity to a degree that it might start spoiling the image of Edmonton. but then may be it's a good way to get the law take action before it really becomes something.

LindseyT
14-12-2006, 01:22 PM
/\ As part of my getting to know about Edmonton I place the Edmonon Sun's website as one of my homepages.
Man, that website makes Edmonton look like all that happens there is homicides!
I happen to be living in a city where there's a lot of homicide, so I know what happens in Edmonton in a year can happens in Moscow in just a month (no sh***ing). My friends laughed when I mention 44 killings in a year
All I am trying to say is that the media seem to be giving homicide a lot of publicity to a degree that it might start spoiling the image of Edmonton. but then may be it's a good way to get the law take action before it really becomes something.

I suggest using the Edmonton Journal instead. www.canada.com/edmontonjournal

onishenko
14-12-2006, 01:53 PM
The Sun is a tabloid newspaper. Case and point, I give you Wikipedia's take on tabloidnewspapers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabloid) :

"In its traditional sense, the term tabloid refers to a newspaper that tends to emphasise sensational stories and which is suspected of or prone to creating its news if the publication's management believes that the subjects cannot, or will not, sue for libel. In this respect, much of the content of the tabloid press could be said to fall into the category of junk food news.
Tabloid newspapers in Britain [EDIT: or Canada for that matter] , collectively called the tabloid press, tend to be simply and sensationally written, and to give more prominence than broadsheets to celebrities, sports, crime stories and even hoaxes; they also more readily take a political position (either left- or right-wing) on news stories, ridiculing politicians, demanding resignations and predicting election results. The term red top (as in "News International red tops sweep the board") refers to tabloids with red nameplates, such as The Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Star, and distinguishes them from the black top Daily Express and Daily Mail. Red top newspapers are usually simpler in writing style, dominated by pictures, and directed at the more sensational end of the market. Tabloid newspapers are sometimes pejoratively called the gutter press."

Sonic Death Monkey
14-12-2006, 11:09 PM
The only difference between the SUN and British tabloids is that their equivalent of Sunshine Girls are topless.

North Guy66
18-12-2006, 02:14 PM
The week of the 2006 Grand Prix of Edmonton I clearly recall the headlines in the Edmonton Sun were all negative like, "Mother Stabbed!" or "Teenager Murdered".

I remember this because I commented to my co-worker what visitors and media would think of Edmonton when they read the news during the Grand Prix week.

Granted, I know the Sun does not work for Edmonton Tourism but was it really necessary to glorify a single murder on the front pages?

SAL
20-12-2006, 10:44 PM
[
quote="emdubya"]. I'm tired of Mo Blayways and Shirley Lowe acting like there's no link between nightclubs, violence, and crime. Frankly, it's an insult to my intelligence and middle finger to concerned residents and businesses.quote]

Of course there is a link between violence and nightclubs. Since the beginning of time, people looking for trouble go to places where the most people gather - parties, clubs etc. Do clubs cause violence? With the exception of boxing and other fight clubs, clubs do not sell violence. It is bad for business. Police say that less than 10% of the total number of bars in Edmonton are problem bars. It is true that even one problem bar will cause more than its share of headaches so it is important to to identify and isolate those bars and either fix their operations or close them down. It is also important to remember that not all clubs are alike.

What we are resisting is the "silver bullet" fix of simply closing doors and expecting things to change. This solution presumes that either all patrons of pubs and clubs are a problem or that arriving at some yet to be determined magic patron number will convince all the bad guys to go away. In reality, the two most significant mob events on Whyte Avenue were parties that started somewhere else and could not be absorbed indoors when they arrived. The street became the unmanaged free for all venue.

Safe social places are a world wide concern. What we see in Edmonton is repeating itself in most North American cities, Great Britain, the Scandanavian countries, Australia and New Zealand. In fact, New Zealand's "We serve drinks not drunks" campaign is working its way around the world. Recently, we attended a Summit meeting in Chicago with a number of large and medium sized cities from all over North America. Edmonton and Windsor were Canadian delegations. There were expert panels and presentations on the different issues - there are a number of cities that have been at this longer than we have - and a practical guide outlining current best practices in planning, managing and policing social spaces was delivered.

The pressure for all this comes from demographics, the boom and new trends. It is exacerbated by communication technologies. For instance, Edmonton's under 30 population (a high risk taking age) out numbers the Baby Boom, the other significant population. A large number of these Boom Echoers work until 9:00 pm or later. This has moved the social time from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm. This generation is at a very social time in their lives and creates a huge demand for hospitality. More than any other generation, the Echoers herd. They travel with a group and call up this group within minutes on cell phones or with text messages. Where they choose to be becomes the place to be whether it's a club, a community hall or a house party. Incidently, the Baby Boom caused its own wave of crime and bad behaviour.

This only explains the numbers of young people out at night. It is not about the cultural and socio-economic factors that drive people to binge drink, take dangerous drugs, join gangs or commit unspeakable harm to others.

Edmonton has not come to terms with its size or night time economy. These people cannot be disolved or put to bed. There are tens of thousands of people up and about in Edmonton after midnight. We are at least an 18/7 if not a 24/7 city and we must provide the services at night that we provide during the day. Transportation issues are not just about Whyte Avenue. All over the city people need to get home from social events and to and from work places. Industrial areas are crying for people to staff second and third manufacturing shifts. Many people who are work these shifts are immigrants or women who do not drive. How about hospital workers? Not only are patrons and employees of clubs and restaurants stranded at night but so are many others.

Edmonton recently underwent a Hospitality Resource Panel Process that made five recommendations to create a multi stakeholder group that was responsible for hospitality in Edmonton. These recommendations change delivery systems, close gaps and assign responsibility, things that were not in place previously. Recommendation #3 is a Code Team of regulating and enforcement agencies that will work with the hospitality industry on a safety plan that will be tied into the business license. This team has already started its work. It and the other initiatives were waiting for Council budget approval and will be implemented in 2007. For the report and recommendations, see www.rhiweb.org/edmonton.

As for the middle finger thing, that is more your perception than reality. I work for over 400 retailers, more than 100 professional and service businesses, 60+ restaurants and 38 clubs & pubs. Old Strathcona is a significant arts and cultural area, a soon to be designated Provincial Historic Area, a bastion of small independant businesses (90%), a music and entertainment area and a festival space. We work within a greater community group that represents residential, institutional and business to help solve social and economic development issues. We respect each other's perspectives and the wonderful community in which we live and work.

Assigning opinions to people on the basis of a 15 second edited film clip is dangerous. It could subject you to a good kick in the shin if we find out who you really are.

Shirley Lowe

m0nkyman
20-12-2006, 10:55 PM
When I was head doorman at a club in Ottawa, the first thing I taught my new doormen was that fights cost the bar money. At the bar I worked at, the first fight of the night cost about two thousand dollars, and the second about the same. This in a bar that did about ten thousand on a great night. Our job wasn't to break up fights. Our job was to make sure that fights didn't happen, and the best way to do that was to be the kind of guys that you didn't want to get in a fight with because we were too damned nice (and looked like we'd annihilate you if you did try something mean). :lol:

Any bar that allows fights to happen regularly will not last long.

And a lively nightlife district is usually a lot safer than anywhere that rolls the sidewalks up at 5:30pm...

DebraW
02-01-2007, 11:17 AM
Murder capital

With 75 slayings in the last two years, Edmonton police are beefing up the homicide unit
By Max Maudie
The Edmonton Sun


In the past two years, 75 people died at the hands of someone else in Edmonton, making it the bloodiest period in the city's history.

The record-setting pace of 39 homicides in 2005 was nearly matched in 2006, with 36 more added to police books.

Prior to that, the most murderous years were 1992 and 2004, when 28 homicides were committed in the city.

The recent spike in homicides - Edmonton was recently dubbed the murder capital of Canada - has led to more manpower for the Edmonton Police Service's homicide section.

Early this month, the number of homicide investigators will increase to 16 from 14, said Staff Sgt. Brian Lobay, who heads the section.

"We have a full load (of active cases) here," he recently told the Sun.

As the record-setting 2005 unfolded, homicide cops found themselves calling on detectives from other sections to help out.

"We still utilize the divisional crime sections when we can," said Lobay.

It took a week for the first homicide of 2006 to hit the books.

Eric Ellefson, 28, was found slumped in the driver's seat of his idling pickup truck Jan. 7 on a grassy berm in northeast Edmonton. He'd been shot in the head.

CHARGES WITHDRAWN
Police slapped a longtime friend of Ellefson's with first-degree murder charges 12 days later, but the Crown withdrew the charges in October, fearing a conviction was unlikely.

Charges weren't laid in two other cases in 2006 because the killers were believed to be acting in self-defence.

Police cleared roughly 60% of the homicides from their books this year. That's down from 70% the same time last year, but up from 46% the year before.

Lobay said it's important the public know that police remain determined to crack the cases lingering on the books.

"Some of these files take years to solve," he said. "I think that's got to be understood."

Gang-related killings are particularly difficult to solve because witnesses are often reluctant to come forward.

A triple homicide Oct. 29 at a downtown club shocked the city - and the nation.

Police were reluctant at first to call the slayings at the Red Light Lounge gang-related, but Lobay acknowledged to the Sun that the bloodshed is linked to gangs.

THREE MURDER COUNTS

A few days after the shooting, police laid three counts of second-degree murder against Dwayne Anthony Nelson, 22.

Lobay said eight other homicides this year are believed to be gang-related, down from 15 in 2005.

He said he couldn't talk about which cases - gang-related or not - police may be close to laying charges in.

"We're making headway on many of them here," he said.

A spate of youth-involved violence and homicide also made headlines in 2006.

Most recently, Evan James Grykuliak, 17, was stabbed to death, reportedly as he tried to get party crashers to leave his west-end birthday party.

A 17-year-old male was charged in the Nov. 19 slaying. Lobay said the homicide was gang-related, but stressed that Grykuliak was not tied to gangs.

Youths were charged in five 2006 homicides, up from four in 2005.

While Edmonton's homicide numbers were slightly down from 2005, so were the number of homicides the RCMP were investigating in rural and small-town Alberta.

DOWN FROM 49

By mid-December, they'd investigated 36 homicides in 2006. That's down from 49 in 2005 and 50 in 2004, said Cpl. Wayne Oakes.

"I wish there was a defining thing we could put our fingers on for the variance from year to year," Oakes said.

"We certainly hope (the downward trend) continues on into 2007 and beyond."

--30--

CSR
03-01-2007, 12:09 AM
When we had high murder rates in the late '80s it was blamed on the bust economy. Now it's blamed on the boom economy.

I think what has changes is the type of murder. Most in the past were "friends" who had fallings out while drunk, or family / spousal killings. Now we have what, for lack of a better term I'll call "gang killings"

The economy does have an effect on that, as gangs live off drugs, prostitution ( to an extent ) and illegal gambling and all the other vices that boom when the economy does.

But, even there, this sort of thing existed before. It has just gradually escalated from beatings with pipes and clubs, to stabings and now shootings. We have more deaths because of superior weaponry, not nesc because of increased violence.

I have noticed and increased "macho" element in male culture from when I was young and foolish. And while I look at it with some suspicion I cannot say that this has in fact made resorting to violence among males more likely.

Statistically there has been much bigger increase in violence among young women. "macho" certainly wouldn't explain that.

That said, of themen of my father's generation that grew up in Alberta, most all I've talked to used to go to bars, and get in fist fights pretty much as a recreational activity. As I look at my older siblings, myself and my friends, younger generations down to those still in their teens, I ( again, personal anecdotal experience ) see fewer and fewer individuals that have been involved in any sort of violence of that nature.

It may even be that as society gets more and more peaceable the truly violent get worse and worse as they fit in less and less. The violence gets concentrates in smaller and smaller community.

LindseyT
03-01-2007, 02:22 AM
CSR you are absolutly correct. All you have to do is talk to somebody over 40 to hear of a time when you went to a bar, got in a shouting match, step outside and throw a few punches and walk away. It was an everyday occurance and there was no harm in it. Now, you are less than likely to witness a fight, but if you do somebody pulls out a weapon, or an hour and 30 phone calls later you have a serious brawl.

My belief is as we as a society have attempted to be as PC as possible and protect everybody from everything we have infact, although reduced the frequency, increased the amplitude of such events. I don't know about anybody else, but I'd rather get in a hundred fist fights and have a few chairs broken over my back, than get involved in one fight where weapons are present and nobody fights like a gentleman.

A perfect anology is the instigator rule in the NHL. By trying to appeal to the softer US fans by reducing the vigilante aspect of the game we have removed the players ability to police themselfs, mutual assured distruction if you will, and actual made the game much more violent.

DebraW
04-01-2007, 02:00 PM
Boys next doorGangs everywhere, say cops

Thu, January 4, 2007
By ELIZA BARLOW, EDMONTON SUN

Staff Sgt. Kevin Galvin displays some of the drugs seized by the Metro Edmonton Gang Unit during 2006 at a news conference yesterday at Edmonton Police Service headquarters.

As Alberta gangs get better at their game, Edmonton-area residents need look no further than their own neighbourhoods to find gang members, police said yesterday.

"It's time that the community knows what's really going on," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Galvin, head of the Edmonton Police Service co-ordinated crime section.

"These gang members don't live in the marginalized communities ... they don't live in the inner city.

"They live next door to each one of you. They're the ones buying the large houses. They're the ones purchasing legitimate businesses for money laundering."

Galvin was speaking yesterday at a news conference to provide an update on the 2006 progress of the Metro Edmonton Gang Unit, a joint EPS-RCMP unit that began as a pilot project in 2005 and was made an official unit last year.

The unit was brought in to combat the "growing issue" of gang activity in Edmonton and the surrounding area during this economic and population boom, said cops.

About 18 criminal networks and one organized crime group, the Hells Angels, are operating in the Edmonton area, police said.

In a rare move, police released the names of the 10 "self-named" of the 18 "criminal networks" they say are operating in the Edmonton area: Alberta Warriors, Crazy Dragons, Crazy Dragon Killers, GTC (Get The Cash), Indian Posse, North End Jamaicans, Redd Alert, Southside Boys, West End Jamaicans and White Boy Posse.

Police spokesman Karen Carlson said the names of the gangs were released to build awareness among the public about the gangs issue.

The names of the other eight gangs, who have been given names by police, weren't released.

Cops said most gang violence in the Edmonton area is internal rather than fights between gangs over territory like in other parts of the country. Eleven of the 36 homicides in the city last year were gang-related, they said.

Police also said gang members have become good business people, except for the fact their business is illegal and tax-free. Street gangs often act as front-line workers for organized crime gangs.

In 2006, the Metro Edmonton Gang Unit seized 42.5 kilograms of cocaine, including 18 kg found in a hidden compartment of an SUV, police said.

The unit also seized 14 kg of marijuana, more than 100 guns and more than $1 million cash.

--30--