Robberies in Surrey increased by 83 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. That’s up 110 recorded robberies from 60.
This is according to the most recent statistics released by the Surrey RCMP.
What role the pandemic has played in this increase in robberies is hard to nail down, though.
“Whenever we put out stats, the ‘why’ of statistics is always the greatest question, right?” Corporal Elenore Sturko said. “Certainly with all of our statistics there is the potential that there has been an impact from the pandemic. For example, early on we saw an increase in business break-and-enters because we had unoccupied places but we saw a decrease in our residential B&Es and thefts of vehicles because people were home and cars were parked in the driveway, we just had a lot more eyes and ears in those areas.”
Despite the increase in robberies, the total number of Criminal Code Offences dropped by 13 per cent, to 9,957 from 11,438. Property crimes also dropped by 18 per cent, to 5,372 files from 6,581 and violent crimes dropped by one per cent, to 2,062 recorded offences from 2,092.
Sturko said most of the robberies were “personal robberies” or “crimes of opportunity” as opposed to bank robberies and such.
“People having their backpack stolen, or cellphones,” she noted. “We had a number, in that quarter, of robberies related to online marketplace apps.”
Of all robberies in the 2020’s second quarter, 51 were in the Whalley/City Centre district, 27 were in Fleetwood/Guildford, 23 were in Newton, seven were in Cloverdale and two were in South Surrey.
Meantime, the year-to-date stats for the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2019, violent crime fell by four per cent, property-related crimes dropped by seven per cent and the total number of recorded Criminal Code Offences dropped by eight per cent.