Hamilton Police announce crime gun confiscations in the city up 77 per cent

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Officials say that many of the confiscations were a result of citizen tips. Photo credit: Facebook/Hamilton Police Service


The Hamilton Police Service (HPS) put out a press release last week detailing that crime gun confiscations in the city are up 77 per cent from this time last year.

The release came after police seized 13 guns last weekend alone. 

Since the beginning of 2023, police have reportedly seized 48 crime guns from a variety of incidents. 

Five of those were recovered during “traffic-related stops.”

HPS Police Chief Frank Bergen commented on the increase in incidents in the release.

“We should all be alarmed by these numbers. Thanks to the great work of our officers and the keen eyes of a few citizens, we got 13 guns within a 48-hour period,” he said.

Police say that many of the confiscations were a result of citizen tips. 

In one case, someone stopped to retrieve a bedside table left by the roadside in Stoney Creek only to locate a loaded handgun attached to the table’s underside.

The person called police and officers ended up seizing multiple illegally owned guns and ammunition.

In another case, a loaded handgun was found in a bar in the area of Main Street West and Queen Street.

“If not for the interaction of police and concerned citizens, these guns would still be circulating on Hamilton’s streets. These incidents are a reminder that if you see something, then say something. By working together, we can make our streets safer for everyone,” continued Bergen.

The press release also comes the week after Hamilton Police announced that they were investigating Hamilton’s first homicide of 2023 on Friday, March 24 after the shooting death of 53-year-old Robert Barberstock in a home on Arthur Avenue near Sanford Avenue North and Acorn Street.

Police arrested Luke Willems (38) shortly afterwards at the Red Rose Motel near Queenston Road and Nash Road.

Hamilton Police are also looking for three to four other persons who fled the scene.

Officials say that tips can be reported anonymously to Hamilton Crime Stoppers either by phone at 1-800-222-8477 or online at their website.

In 2022, Hamilton saw five homicides in what was the lowest number in about 30 years. In 2021 there were 20 homicides, the highest number in about 40 years.

While just the one homicide, there have been a number of other shootings and gun-related incidents this year, including an armed home invasion in Winona involving five suspects with firearms and an incident just five hours into 2023 when a woman was shot at Sankofa Dining in Downtown Hamilton.

Statistics Canada numbers from 2011 to 2020 have Hamilton as the fourth highest area in Canada in terms of firearm-related reported crimes per capita with an average of 32.4 incidents per 100,000 people each year. 

Only Regina, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon had more firearm-related reported crimes per capita during that time.

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