Overall, crime rates in Surrey are down. However, Cloverdale/Port Kells is seeing a spike in some crimes, such as sexual offences. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Sexual offenses, violent crime on the rise in Cloverdale–Port Kells in second quarter

Surrey RCMP statistics show increase in violent crime for April to June, compared to 2016

Sexual offenses and other violent crimes are on the rise in Cloverdale and Port Kells, according to crime statistics released by the Surrey RCMP for this year’s second quarter.

Among the Surrey districts, Cloverdale and Port Kells (District 4) saw the highest increase in sexual offenses in the second quarter, 250 per cent, going from four offenses in 2016 during the second quarter up to 14 in 2017. Year to date, the number of sexual offenses has gone up 100 per cent.

The second highest increase in these crimes in the second quarter was in Whalley and the City Centre, with a 233 per cent increase, the numbers rising from nine offenses in 2016’s second quarter to 30 offenses in the same period in 2017.

Although these districts had the highest percentage increase in sexual offenses, they don’t have the highest number of sexual offenses, although the numbers are close. Newton had the highest with 31 offenses, followed by Whalley and the City Centre with 30, then Guildford and Fleetwood with 26, Cloverdale and Port Kells with 14, and finally South Surrey with 10.

For the City of Surrey as a whole, crime has gone down. But for Cloverdale–Port Kells, it has gone up, when compared to the same period of April to June in 2016.

Across Surrey, sexual offences are up 46 per cent this year, with an 82 per cent increase in the second quarter when compared to 2016.

According to a press release sent out by the Surrey RCMP, in 77 per cent of sexual offenses reported in the second quarter, the victim knew their offender. Of the 26 files where the victim did not know their offender, more than half involved unwanted touching or kissing.

In addition, there has also been an increase in cybercrime of a sexual nature. These cases include luring a child through a computer, or distributing intimate images without consent. This increase does not necessarily mean there are more people committing crimes — some of these investigations can result in multiple files for one suspect or incident when there have been multiple victims.

“This increase, which is not unique to District 4, will likely continue as cybercrimes become more prevalent,” Surrey RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Scotty Schumann said. “Parents of young children need to have a conversation early on with their kids and talk about ‘netiquette’ and internet safety.”

Although Cloverdale and Port Kells had the second lowest number of assault files in the second quarter among the Surrey districts, the district saw the highest increase in assualt files from the first quarter to the second quarter. Over the past year, however, there has been a decrease from 106 files at this time last year to 91 this year.

“Violent crimes are down significantly throughout the city,” Schumann said. “We believe that an increase in police resources, community engagement, as well as a variety enforcement initiatives are contributing factors to the violent crime decrease.”

All in all, District 4 saw the highest overall increase in violent crime, and the smallest decrease in property crime in the second quarter. Year to date, both of those crimes have increased, by eight per cent for violent crime and five per cent for property crime.

This can be attributed, in part, to the overall increase in population, Community Response Sergeant Winston Shorey said.

“If you take a peek at all the houses being built … it’s exponential,” he said.

However, Schumann noted that “it’s more important to look at the ratio of reports to population to determine if there is an increase.”

“Year to date, District 4 has had 67 more reported crimes as compared to last year,” he said. “I would suggest this is very low especially given the increase in population.”