Surrey – The Surrey RCMP has released crime statistics for the first quarter (Q1) of 2019. This is the first statistical report published since revisions were made to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey by Statistics Canada on January 1, 2019. These changes will impact crime statistics for all police agencies across Canada and, as such, residents will notice differences in some crime types that are not directly comparable to the same time period last year.
Under the new UCR Survey rules that were announced last year, “founded” occurrences now include offences where there is no credible evidence to confirm the incident did not take place. Previously, offences that could not be substantiated with evidence were not included in a city’s crime statistics. More information on these changes can be found on the Statistics Canada website.
While it is too early to fully assess the impact of these changes on crime statistics, our analysis shows early indications that some crime types are impacted more than others including assaults, uttering threats, and shoplifting.
In the first quarter of 2019, total criminal code offences increased by 4% in Surrey. A substantial increase in violent crime (43%) was recorded with notable increases in robberies, sexual offences and assaults, that can be at least partially attributed to the UCR changes. Twenty-seven percent of assaults involved intimate partner violence.
The city experienced nine shots fired incidents in Q1 (compared with 12 in Q1 2018). Although we have seen a steady decline in shots fired files over the past four years, it continues to be the Surrey RCMP’s top priority. Those involved in the Lower Mainland Gang Conflict and drug trafficking are being strategically targeted with arrests and drug seizures executed in the first quarter of 2019.
“Sextortions” are on the rise with 17 reports in Q1. This form of sexual exploitation employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort money or sexual acts from a victim (ex. threats to share explicit photos that have been shared over a dating application). Gropings also continue to be an issue, making up 24% of sexual offences. In total, 68% of sexual offences in Q1 involved an offender who was known to the victim.
Property crime continued its four-year downward trend with a 9% decrease. The most significant decreases were seen in residential break and enters (-19%), theft from vehicle (-23%), and theft of vehicle (-19%).
Break and enters to garages continue to be a trend, with entry often gained with a garage door opener that was left in a vehicle or through an open garage door. Theft of vehicle and theft from vehicle decreased in all Districts. In addition to the hard work of our Auto Crime Target Team, our volunteers are also helping to combat auto theft with their recovery of 25 stolen vehicles so far this year.