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Updated: 6th January 2019 09:21

Police chief says organized crime is Calgary's biggest issue

Homicide rates, impaired driving and gangs are top-of-mind issues for Calgary's police chief in the coming year.

Homicide rates, impaired driving and gangs are top-of-mind issues for Calgary's police chief. 8:03

Homicide rates, impaired driving and gangs are top-of-mind issues for Calgary's police chief in the coming year.

Rick Hanson, who sat down with the CBC News Calgary for a year-end interview, says Calgary is bucking the national trend when it comes to homicides

Sixteen people were killed in 2012. While the national rate has increased seven per cent, Calgary has remained relatively steady over the last couple years.

Hanson also says this year saw a decrease in violent crimes.

"So we're a very safe city," he said. "It's come at a lot of hard work. We've got plans, we've got initiatives out there where our officers are working diligently to keep our streets safe."

This year officers also had to police carry out some new laws, like the new impaired driving and distracted driving legislation.

Demerits for distracted driving wanted, says chief

He says the distracted driving law hasn't been as successful as he would like.

"The day of implementation you could see a difference everywhere in Calgary, what happened over time though was the habits returned because people learned there was no demerit points associated with it."

Moving forward to 2013, Hanson says police will continue to combat one of the city's biggest crime issues.

"The biggest challenge remains organized crime, [and the] gangs and violence associated with that," he said. "Right across Canada today it's the No. 1 issue, the No. 1 problem."

Hanson says another issue police will focus on is relatively new to officers here in Calgary — so-called "honour killings," which are normally murders committed because of patriarchal concepts of honour and shame.

The police chief says a special unit is dedicated to learning more about the issue and finding ways to put an end to it.

MAP: Calgary homicides 2012

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