Crime down in City, up slightly in Township

Numbers from Stats Canada show rate of violent crime fell in both Langleys

Acting Township mayor

New crime severity statistics show the overall situation improved in the City of Langley last year, while it became slightly worse in the Township.

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) figures, which measure the volume and severity of police-reported crime, were released on Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

To calculate the severity index, analysts give each type of crime a weight based on the average sentence handed down by criminal courts for the offence.

The more serious the sentence, the higher the weight.

In 2014, the Langley City index fell more than 13 per cent to 147.46.

It was the second year in a row that the City rate has declined, bu t it was still higher than the Canadian average of 66.66 and the B.C. average of 91.63.

The City rate was also higher than the two largest cities in the province,  Vancouver, with a CSI of 106.22, and Surrey, at 133.99.

Williams Lake had the worst CSI rate in B.C. at 235.23.

The violent crime index reported for Langley City also fell, by 8.88 per cent, to 97.93.

The Langley City violent crime rating was higher than the national CSI of 70.2 and the provincial violent crime CSI of 76.98 per cent.

Last year, Langley City mayor Ted Schaffer predicted the Crime Severity Index would drop substantially in that community, due to a number of steps the City had taken, including funding for two additional RCMP officers, assigned to the downtown core.

The Township of Langley, meanwhile, reported an overall CSI of 93.77, an increase of 8.32 per cent from the previous year. The Township violent crime CSI was 57.23, a drop of 11.63 per cent from the previous year.

Acting Township mayor David Davis said he would prefer to see the overall CSI number go down, not up, but he takes some comfort in the fact the violent crime rate dropped.

“In the Township, people still feel (physically) safe,” Davis said.

The numbers for both the City and Township were welcomed by Langley RCMP Inspector Rob De Boersap.

“Any time crime rates go down, we’re pleased,” Insp. De Boersap told The Times Wednesday.

He said the downward trend is the product of police efforts to target the repeat offenders who generate most of the crime.

“There’s definitely still work to be done,” De Boersap added.

He said residents can assist police by reporting property crime when it occurs, information investigators need to identify trends and set priorities.

The police-reported CSI rate fell in most of the provinces and territories, but went up in B.C, by three per cent.

Statistics Canada said the increase in B.C. was due to more incidents of petty theft ($5,000 or under), child pornography, breaking and entering and motor vehicle theft.