Violent crime continues to soar

However, murders are down and so is property crime overall, as Surrey RCMP releases third-quarter crime stats

Violent crime in Surrey continues to soar, while property crime is taking a big drop, according to third-quarter statistics released by the RCMP.

Violent crime jumped by 40 per cent in the first three quarters of this year, when compared to the same period last year.

Much of that can be explained by an increase in assaults, which skyrocketed by about 500 in the first nine months of this year.

Robberies were up by about 100 during that period as well.

Attempted murders more than doubled from eight to 28, and sex assaults were up from 164 to 228 – a jump of 39 per cent. Abduction and kidnapping went up from 30 in the first three-quarters of last year to 47 so far in 2015.

Overall, homicides were down 59 per cent, from 17 to seven, and were either unchanged or down in the five policing districts serving the city.

The good news for Surrey is that property crime continues to plunge, down by nine per cent overall, with residential break-and-enters decreasing by 18 per cent in the first three quarters of this year, business break-and-enters down 14 per cent, and break-and-enters overall decreasing by 17 per cent.

The biggest jump in violent crime during this period was in policing District 4 (Cloverdale and Port Kells), which saw a 47-per-cent leap. It was followed by District 2 (Guildford and Fleetwood), up 45 per cent; District 5 (South Surrey), up 43 per cent; District 1 (Whalley) up 38 per cent; and District 3 (Newton), up 36 per cent.

Once again, attempted murders are on the rise in Newton (up 175 per cent), and Whalley (175 per cent), while Cloverdale and Guildford saw no change and South Surrey dropped by 100 per cent.

Sex assault remains high across the city, including in Cloverdale/Port Kells, which saw those crimes increase  77 per cent this year so far; Guildford/Fleetwood, up 45 per cent; Newton (44 per cent); South Surrey (29 per cent); and Whalley (16 per cent).

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said property crime is dropping due to continued targeted policing, which focuses on repeat offenders.

He noted that while violent crime gets a large amount of public attention, it usually occurs between criminals.

Property crime, to a much greater degree, affects people who are not involved in crime.

The Surrey RCMP release statistics quarterly at the request of Surrey council, which wanted greater transparency for public safety issues.