A report going to the Board of Police Commissioners this week says crime took an ugly turn in Saskatoon during 2019.
The report details how violent crime jumped 10 per cent last year, compared to both 2018 and the five-year average.
Categories with significant increases include homicide — the 16 violent deaths in 2019 were an all-time high for the city — plus sexual offences and robberies.
Robberies increased by 20 per cent over 2018 and were 15 per cent higher than the five-year average.
Michael Keel runs a heating and cooling business from his home in the west-side Meadowgreen neighbourhood. He knows first-hand about crime in the area.
“We had some guys going around breaking in garages and stuff,” he said.
“We see people hopping fences and running through backyards, they’re checking your doors or your trucks and your cars. A lot of the times they’re just looking for small stuff.”
Keel said he’d like to see more of a police presence in the neighbourhood as a deterrent.
Police did shift staff to address at least some of these concerns. In June, the service moved some officers to the downtown area.