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Vancouver man charged with murder in 2006 disappearance of his wife

Vancouver police car.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

Vancouver Police have announced the arrest of Jaswant Singh Gill, a 40-year-old Vancouver man, in connection with the 2006 disappearance of his wife.

Mr. Gill was arrested Feb. 16 and charged with the second-degree murder of Gurpreet Gill.

The Missing Persons Unit transferred the case to the Homicide Unit in 2011 after it suspected foul play was involved.

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"Even though initially there were very few clues, our investigators never gave up," said Sergeant Kevin McLaren.

Police also released the latest homicide figures for the city of Vancouver. In 2012, nine people were murdered, the lowest number of homicides the city has seen since 1953 and a 40 per cent reduction from 2011, when 15 people were murdered.

Neil Boyd, a professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University, agrees that police play a role in violent crime reduction. But he thinks cultural changes must be considered too.

Mr. Boyd identifies a decrease in the number of young men in British Columbia over the past 30 years as a heavy influence on crime rates. "Whenever your population is made up of a higher percentage of young men, you can expect rates of violent crime and rates of homicide to increase," he said.

"It's very difficult to calculate the precise impact that police interventions have had," said Mr. Boyd.

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