Decade trend shows crime dropping slowly in Surrey

Decade trend shows crime dropping slowly in Surrey

City made better headway on violent crime from 2004 to 2013, compared to 2003 to 2012

Surrey is faring much better in beating down violent crime in the last 10 years. However,  the overall crime rate and the level of property crime is dropping the slowest in the region.

Figures released last month by the B.C. Ministry of Justice show the number of crimes in all cities throughout the province, from 2004 to 2013.

Surrey is doing much better than it had in the 2003-2012 snapshot at hammering down violent crime, reducing it by 25.5 per cent. The previous 10-year trend, showed this city actually had a 10 per cent increase, despite the fact it was dropping in other large cities in the province.

Figures released from the RCMP last week indicate there have been increases in the number of murders, firearms offenses  and robbery, but the vast majority of others have dropped significantly.

Those include assaults, which dropped by 30 per cent and criminal harassment and threats, which plunged by 40 per cent from 10 years ago.

However, the more problematic is the total number of criminal code offenses which reduced by only 11.7 per cent, while other major cities in the province at least doubled that reduction.

Burnaby and Abbotsford cut their criminal code offenses by more than 50 per cent during the same time.

The second poorest performer among major cities in B.C. was Kelowna, which cut its criminal code offenses by only 16.2 per cent. Delta and Langley Township cut their criminality by 25 per cent, while other major cities cut theirs ranging from 30 per cent to 37 per cent.

The B.C. average was 32.6 per cent, almost three times the reduction of Surrey.

Surrey also performed poorly in property crime, cutting it by only 16.2 per cent, less than half the provincial average of 39.9 per cent.

Surrey’s reduction in property crime was far below that of other major cities which ranged from 28.9 per cent (Delta) to 55.7 per cent (Abbotsford).

Crime fighting is the top issue heading into next month’s civic election, with candidates promising to hire far more police.