Surrey’s latest crime statistics released Friday, comparing 2014 to 2013, do not tell a cheerful story.
But it is of some comfort that some of the increases in crimes recorded in these latest statistics can be attributed to more Surrey residents picking up the phone, or texting the RCMP, when they see something suspicious going on.
According to the stats, violent crime went up by seven per cent in 2014 compared to 2013, property crimes increased by 22 per cent and the number of criminal code offences recorded in Surrey grew by 20 per cent.
On the bright side, there were fewer homicides in Surrey last year, at 17, compared to 2013’s recordbreaking 25. The previous record was 21, in 2005. The latest Surrey RCMP statistics to be released reveal that in 2014 there were 10,085 criminal code offences recorded in the city, compared to 8,161 in 2013.
In response to this increase, police say they’ve increased their "mobilization efforts" through campaigns such as "Observe it, Report It," which asks residents to let police know what they’re seeing on their streets and in their neighbourhoods.
It is good news that last year more than 90 new Block Watch groups were formed in Surrey and that the Surrey RCMP continues to try to further engage the community it serves with the 2015 launch of the Neighbourhood Safety Campaign – with tailor-made crime prevention presentations dispensing advice in Sullivan, Clayton, Morgan Crossing, Whalley and Fleetwood – and the Citizen Police Academy program.
Surrey RCMP’s Chief Supt. Bill Fordy says that "with extra policing resources coming soon, dedicated partners, and a passionate community supporting us, I am confident that, together, we can make Surrey the best possible place to live."
We can only hope.