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Overall crime on the decline in Surrey, RCMP data shows, amid debate for municipal force

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Crime was all the talk in Surrey before the last municipal election, but it appears perception doesn’t quite line up with reality.

New statistics from the Surrey RCMP show a decrease in all violent crime categories in 2018, except when it came to homicides.

There were 15 homicides from the start of 2018 to year’s end — a 25 per cent increase over 2017.

Despite this increase, data shows the city saw fewer attempted murders, sexual assaults, and less car theft. When it comes to what the RCMP calls “one of the most high-volume crimes,” Surrey apparently saw a 15 per cent decline when it came to theft from vehicles.

There were 38 shots fired files, the RCMP says, down 36 per cent from the year before. The 2018 figure is also down more than half from 2015, data shows.

While the numbers show property crime is also down — about 11 per cent, theft over $5,000 was a 33 per cent more significant issue in 2018 than the year before.

Surrey Mounties say they worked hard to tackle gang and drug trafficking activity in 2018.

They credit efforts in enforcement, intervention, and preventative programs, such as delivering anti-gang presentations to students.

“The Surrey RCMP continues to pursue crime reduction and address public safety issues through a balanced approach that includes prevention, outreach, intervention and enforcement efforts,” Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald says in a release.

The data is drawn from provincial police records, and the updated statistics come as business groups and others, including Surrey residents, call for a sober second thought over political plans to do away with the RCMP.

“It’s the devil you know, or the devil you don’t know,” one local says. “I’ve been here my whole life. I feel like crime’s kind of down a little bit. It’s becoming a nice place to live, already.”

Mayor Doug McCallum has promised to replace the force with a municipal one.

The report finds that overall, crime decreased in Surrey by four per cent last year.

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