New statistics released by the Surrey RCMP detachment show that violent crime has climbed in B.C.’s second most populous city over the past year.
Violent crime within the municipality of Surrey roses by seven per cent throughout 2014, and within the fourth quarter crime was up by 52 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.
There was a one-year rise within all the categories of recorded violent crime, including an eight per cent increase for sexual assaults (252), eight per cent increase for physical assaults (3,192), four per cent increase for robberies (617), and a 14 per cent increase for abduction and kidnapping (42).
However, the number of recorded homicides dropped by 32 per cent – from 25 incidents in 2013 to 17 incidents in 2014.
Property crime remains as another major issue with the police reporting a total of 35,483 files, a 22 per cent jump in cases.
Theft of motor vehicles swelled by 54 per cent, with 4,490 cases recorded in 2014 or an average of approximately 12 cars stolen per day. Incidents involving theft from a vehicle also went up by 25 per cent to 9,408 files.
There were 2,657 incidents of residential break-and-enters, representing a 24 per cent increase over the previous year. Another 1,313 break-and-enters occurred at businesses, which is a slight four per cent decrease compared to 2013.
Vancouver’s statistics in comparison
In contrast, the city of Vancouver experienced a 10.9 per cent one-year fall in violent crime in 2014. Data from the Vancouver Police Department indicates substantial decreases in most categories of violent crime: sexual assaults (406) fell by 14.5 per cent, physical assaults (4,017) by 8.3 per cent and robberies (650) by 22.7 per cent.
A total of nine homicides were recorded in 2013 – a 50 per cent increase from the six murders of the previous year.
Property crime also rose by 10.3 per cent with 35,371 incidents filed. The VPD reports that 1,314 vehicles were stolen (+22.5%) and 9,645 cars were broken into with property stolen (+20.3%).
There were nearly the same number of business (2,233) and residential (2,273) break-and-enters, although this was the result of business invasions climbing by 26.4 per cent. On the other hand, residential invasions saw a marginal decrease of 3.3 per cent.
The VPD’s data included figures on motor vehicle traffic fatalities. A total of 13 fatalities were recorded last year, which represents a 18.8 per cent decline against 2013.
Population and geographical difference
Vancouver has a population of 603,000 people living densely within an area of 115 square kilometres while Surrey has a population of 510,000 within a sprawl of 316 square kilometres. The population of Vancouver grows by approximately 5,000 every year whereas Surrey sees nearly 12,000 new residents annually.
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