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Only five of the 26 homicides that took place in 2023 in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia's two most populous cities, led to charges being laid, according to police statistics.
A homicide is one of the most serious crimes the VPD investigates and devotes significant resources to, says Police Department Officer Tania Visintin of Vancouver (VPD), by email.
In Vancouver, 14 people were killed in 2023, but charges were only laid in 2 cases.
One person arrested and charged of second-degree murder following the altercation that led to the death of Paul Stanley Schmidt outside a business at the corner of Granville and Pender streets in March.
Another person has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Nikolai Sugakthe in Chinatown on February 5.
In Surrey, the number of homicides decreased in 2023 compared to 2022. From 22 homicides in 2022, the city increased to 12 so far in 2023. This number remains higher than the 10 homicides in 2021.
The most high-profile death was that of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, killed at a Sikh temple on 120th Street on June 18. This murder of a Sikh leader is at the heart of diplomatic tensions between Canada and India.
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Another homicide that attracted attention was that of 17-year-old Ethan Bespflug. Charges have been filed against a 20-year-old man in this case.
Including this latest homicide, only 3 of the 12 have occurred so far in 2023 led to charges.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is working to solve these cases . According to Sergeant Timothy Pierotti, spokesperson for the team, there is no set timetable for this type of investigation.
All Attempting to estimate the time needed would only give false expectations to the victims' families and the public, he explains.
What I What I can say is that EIHI is dedicated to these investigations for as long as necessary.
With information from Chad Pawson