The Surrey RCMP says crime dropped by 14 per cent overall in 2020, as it releases its most recent stats package.
Corporal Joanie Sidhu noted violent crime decreased by 19 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, and by nine per cent for the year overall. Moreover, there was a 43 per cent decrease in homicides from 2019.
Surrey had 12 homicides in 2020. In 2019, there were 21 and in 2018, there were 15. The most homicides Surrey recorded in any given year was 25 in 2013, breaking the previous record of 21 in 2005.
In 2020 compared to 2019, robbery increased by 11 per cent, the number of sexual assaults dropped by 12 per cent, and assaults and kidnappings were down by eight per cent.
“I’m impressed with how our officers and support staff adapted so quickly to new challenges presented by the pandemic,” said Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP. “Despite those challenges we were able to implement important COVID-19 safety measures and decrease crime across the city.”
The number of property-related crimes also decreased by 16 per cent, with business break-ins down 12 per cent, residential break-ins down 12 per cent, auto theft down by 14 per cent, and theft from vehicles dropped by 19 per cent.
Meantime, Surrey had 34 shots-fired calls in 2020 compared to 45 in 2019, making for a 24 per cent reduction.
“That said, the violence associated to the Lower Mainland Gang conflict increased in late 2020 and early 2021 with homicides throughout the region including Surrey,” Sidhu noted.
Eileen Mohan, whose 22-year-old son Christopher was an innocent victim in the 2007 Surrey Six slayings in Whalley, told the Now-Leader on Thursday that the “shooting spree all happening right now just brings back all those memories and hearing all the families whose children are pronounced dead, I understand what they probably are going through right now.”