The rate of homicides in Alberta in 2008 is the highest it has been in eight years, after having its lowest rate in 2007.

According to a recent report by the RCMP, the number of homicides in Alberta, outside urban areas, more than doubled from 2007 to 2008. There were 53 homicides in 2008 compared with 23 in 2007.

“Even we are scratching our heads as to why the number went down and why it went up again,” said Wayne Oakes, RCMP media relations officer. “There is no rhyme or reason why homicides occur.”

Oakes said police look for ways to give people skills to solve conflicts without aggression, and they are continuing to apply initiatives and increase efforts to prevent crime.