Is violent crime in Surrey up or down? It depends

SURREY — Surrey RCMP crime statistics reveal violent crime rose by a whopping 40 per cent in the city during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

But if you compare this latest quarter to the last quarter of 2014, the picture gets brighter.

Here’s the breakdown: Homicides, up 100 per cent (there were two in this quarter); Attempted murder, up 25 per cent; robbery, up 14 per cent; sexual assaults, up 46 per cent; assaults, up 29 per cent and kidnappings — of which there were 11 recorded in this quarter — rose by 175 per cent.

All told, 1,732 violent crimes were recorded in this quarter, compared to 1,233 in the same time period last year.

Despite the dire numbers, Surrey RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr prefers to compare the statistics of this first quarter of 2015 with the last quarter of 2014.

“My attitude is ‘What have you done lately?’” Carr said. “That was a year ago. ‘What are you doing right now for us’ is our attitude. The work we’ve been doing in the last few months.”

If you look at it that way, Surrey is making headway in the fight against crime in this quarter compared to the one immediately before it.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, Surrey recorded 1,962 violent crimes: Five homicides, one attempted murder, 219 robberies, 81 sex assaults, 1,025 assaults and 12 kidnappings.

Comparatively, in the first quarter of 2015 Surrey recorded 1,732 violent crimes: Two homicides, five attempted murders, 168 robberies, 57 sex assaults, 863 assaults and 11 kidnappings.

Broken down by district, Whalley and Newton continue to be the areas of greatest concern as far as crime goes in this latest quarter, with 594 violent crimes committed in Whalley, 342 in Guildford/Fleetwood, 546 in Newton, 134 in Cloverdale/Port Kells, and 115 in South Surrey.

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