Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr speaks at an anti-gang rally held at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in 2018. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr speaks at an anti-gang rally held at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in 2018. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Countdown to murder-free year for Abbotsford and Mission: 59 days

The two municipalities have not gone a year without a murder since 2001

If Abbotsford and Mission go another two months without a murder, the municipalities can celebrate being homicide-free for the first time in 18 years.

Unfortunately, 2001 was the last year with no killings. Since that time, cycles of gang violence have caused the numbers to spike and fall.

The two communities were very close to making it through 2011 without a homicide, but the murder of an inmate at a local prison sullied the count.

At one point, Abbotsford was dubbed the “Murder Capital of Canada.” The numbers for 2008 and 2009 put it at the top of the list for the most murders per 100,000 people, according to Statistics Canada.

The highest recorded years were: 2003 with eight murders, 2009 with nine murders and 2017 with another nine.

The average rate of annual murders since 2001 is 4.66.

RELATED: Officers have worked ‘incredibly hard’ to tackle gang issues, says Abbotsford Police chief

RELATED: Murder capital no more