Crime in both White Rock and Surrey was down in 2021 compared to 2020, according to a Stats Canada report issued earlier this month.
According to the Crime Severity Index – which includes all criminal code violations including traffic, as well as drug violations and all federal statutes – White Rock’s 2021 index number was 83.77, compared to 90.62 in 2020, for a change of -7.56 per cent. Last year’s number is nearly identical to 2019, which had a crime severity index of 83.57.
Surrey, meanwhile, had a 2021 index number of 85.98, compared to 2020, which was 94.9, for a drop of 9.4 per cent.
Stats Canada released the new report on Aug. 2.
Though crime numbers are on the down-swing according to the report, White Rock Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls – who noted in an email to Peace Arch News that the crime-severity index is just “one tool” the detachment uses to understand the community – said that it’s always difficult to compare crime states from one year to the next due to a variety of factors.
“It can be challenging to know exactly why crime rates change in White Rock, as we encourage the reporting of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and financial scams, which can increase the value on the crime severity index,” he said.
“Some may interpret this as increased crime, but it is in fact just increased reporting of crimes that are historically under-reported to police.”
The violent crime index also went down slightly in White Rock from 2020 to ’21, with last year’s number, 74.05 lower than 2020’s 75.28 for a drop of 1.63 per cent. In Surrey, violent crime dropped 7.95 per cent in 2021 compared to the previous year.
According to Stats Can, the violent crime severity index includes all incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2) violent violations, some of which were not previously included in the aggregate violent crime category, including uttering threats, criminal harassment and forcible confinement.
Non-violent crime numbers were also lower last year than in 2020, with a -9.23 per cent change in White Rock, and a 9.9 per cent drop in Surrey.