Another major Canadian city has been hit with a rising tide of violent crime during the coronavirus pandemic.

New figures released by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) show a 5.2% increase in violent crime for the first half of 2020. 

Over the same period, serious assaults saw a concerning spike in growth of 21.7% compared to 2019. 

“The increase in serious assaults was observed city-wide, however specific neighbourhoods stood out and recorded high numbers, like Yaletown, the West End, Strathcona and Chinatown,” said VPD Deputy Chief Constable Howard Chow.

Strathcona has been of particular concern when it comes to criminal activity. According to Chow, the neighbourhood saw a 50% jump in weapon calls, a 68% increase in break-ins and threatening behaviour increase by 14%. 

Toronto has also seen a worrying increase in criminal activity since the pandemic began. 

According to Toronto Police statistics, gun-related incidents have gone up 16% compared to 2019, which reached a record high in shootings. 

As of August 29, Toronto has seen 335 shootings in 2020. 

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