Full police statement after husband charged in 2006 homicide of Gurpreet Gill

Published: February 18, 2013

DEPUTY CHIEF ADAM PALMER

Sgt. Kevin McLaren

Vancouver Police Sgt. Kevin McLaren (left) and Deputy Chief  Adam Palmer provide information about the arrest and charges in Gurpreet Gill’s homicide on Feb. 18, 2013. Mark van Manen/PNG

“We know from experience that the citizens of our community want more than to just be safe – they want to feel safe.

“I have news today that should come as comfort for those who share our vision of making Vancouver Canada’s safest major city.

“I want to assure everyone in our community that the Vancouver Police has no greater priority than reducing violence and putting those who commit that violence in jail.

“With that in mind, I am pleased to tell you that a number of our violence suppression programs appear to be working and our murder rate remains low, while our solve rate of those murders continues to climb.

“I will tell you more about that in a minute, but first I want to share with you the details of our latest murder arrest.”

SERGEANT KEVIN MCLAREN

“I’m going to tell you the story today of a mystery that went unsolved for more than half a decade.

“It was a mystery that caused great sorrow to family members here and in India, and posed a major challenge for our investigators. Even though initially there were very few clues, our investigators never gave up. They believed they owed it to the family and the victim to stay on the case until it was solved.

“In 2006, the relatives of 33 year old Gurpreet Gill became very worried. They had not heard from her in some time and they were concerned. She was the bride of an arranged marriage and was living in the Vancouver area.

“They reported her missing to the Vancouver Police Department. As the missing person investigation proceeded, it became clear she had likely met with foul play.

“For years, investigators looked for the evidence that would link a suspect to the murder. Recently, they found what they needed.

“On Saturday, February 16th, 40-year-old Jaswant Singh Gill was arrested without incident and charged with the second degree murder of his wife.

“He is scheduled to appear in court today.

“We know that there is nothing that will ever make up for the tragedy and loss the family has suffered. But we hope that today’s announcement offers them some measure of comfort, as it has to the investigators who never gave up in their efforts to solve the mystery and seek justice for the victim, Gurpreet Gill.”

DEPUTY CHIEF ADAM PALMER

“As I told you earlier, our priority is to reduce violence in our community and get those who commit it or pose the greatest threat off the streets and into jail.

“We target killers.

“Last year we had nine murders. We haven’t had such a low number of murders since the 1950s. More than half of those murders have been solved and we expect that number to climb higher as we complete investigations.

“In 2011, we had 15 murders. We solved 73 per cent or 11 of those.

“We know that there is no single guaranteed tactic that can reduce violence or murder, and so we deploy as many tactics and programs that we can think of to get guns and killers off the streets.

“The list of these programs is a long one, but they include on-going initiatives such as the Firearms Interdiction Team, Restaurant Watch, Bar Watch and the Lima program. All of these target gangsters, guns and alcohol.

“Then there are the special projects that target those in our community whom we believe pose the most violent threats. They are people we suspect will commit murder or be murder victims.

“Project Rebellion in 2008 and 2009 and Project Torrent targeted groups perpetrating gang violence in Vancouver.

“Project Rubicon was designed to protect the most vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside from the most violent people.

“Other projects like Rescue and Twizzler took more violent individuals off the street.

“The message that I most want to impress you with here is that we don’t wait for murders to be committed.

“We search for the killers before they pull the trigger, take the gun out of their hands, and put them in jail where they can do no harm.

“I can’t predict what the murder rate will be for 2013, but I can promise you that we will continue to make the safety of our citizens our top priority and do everything we can to keep them safe and make them feel safe.”

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