An apparent gang war has led to the Abbotsford-Mission area being crowned Canada’s murder capital.

The region was first in Canada with 4.7 murders per 100,000 population in 2008, followed by Winnipeg and Regina, according to Statistics Canada. Vancouver is seventh at 2.4.

The Abbotsford Police Department issued a release soon after the study came out yesterday saying the city is safe “to live in, work in and to visit.”

The actual number of people murdered in Abbotsford in 2008 is six. In Mission, it’s two. Surrey, by comparison, had 16 murders that year.

“The majority of our homicides in 2008 were gang related and the victims were engaged in high-risk behaviour,” police said.

They emphasized that over the last year and a half, 22 gang associates living in Abbotsford had charges laid against them.

Across Canada, police-reported crime continued to decline for the fifth consecutive year, falling by five per cent last year. However, the murder rate rose by two per cent to 611 people.

Latest From ...