An investigator takes measurements at the scene of a fatal shooting in Langley Township in 2017. Times file photo

Crime down in both Langleys

New figures released by Statistics Canada agency show drop in Township and City

New figures show the crime rate in both Langleys is down, but still above provincial and national averages.

The police-reported crime statistics for 2017 were released by Statistics Canada on Monday.

They show the Crime Severity Index (CSI) for both Langleys was down, with Langley City recording a five per cent drop and Langley Township dropping eight per cent.

That was better than the national average, which went up by two per cent.

Both communities had CSI numbers that were higher than both the national and provincial averages, with Langley City roughly double the B.C. and Canadian rates, while the Township was close to the provincial average and slightly above the national average.

City mayor Ted Schaffer said the numbers were “moving in a positive direction,” though not as fast as he would like.

“It’s a great start,” Schaffer said.

“I know it’s not perfect out there, but we’re trying extremely hard to work with the tools that we have,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer said some of the issues that are contributing to the crime rate, such as homelessness, are under provincial authority, not municipal.

Langley Township mayor Jack Froese was encouraged by the downward trend.

“It’s always good to see it (doing down)” Froese said.

The officer in charge of the Langley RCMP detachment, Supt. Murray Power, said Langley City gets a higher-than-average CSI rating because the way the index is calculated tends to put smaller communities higher in the rankings.

“We are in the middle of the Lower Mainland, with a couple of million people (around us),” Power said.

“This is the equivalent of a neighbourhood in a larger city.”

Power said the bulk of the crimes reported in Langley City are petty offences like property theft, theft from autos, creating a public disturbance, fraud and the like.

“It’s a safe place to live, it’s a safe place to work,” Power said.

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The Statistics Canada Crime Severity Index tracks changes in the severity of police-reported crime by accounting for both the amount of crime reported by police in a given jurisdiction and the relative seriousness of those crimes.

Stats Can said police-reported crime across Canada, measured by both the crime rate and the CSI, increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.

The CSI was up two per cent, the third consecutive increase following an 11-year downward trend from 2003 to 2014.

The increase was the result of increases in the rate of police-reported incidents of sexual assault, possession of stolen property, motor vehicle theft and homicide, the agency said.

Most of Canada’s provinces and territories reported increases in their CSI in 2017.

The exceptions were Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Overall, Canadian police services reported over 1.9 million Criminal Code incidents (not including traffic) in 2017, 45,300 more than the previous year.

By the numbers:

Langley City CSI 187.49 (down 5.00 percent)

Langley Township CSI 91.22 (down 7.51 per cent)

BC average CSI 88.93 (down 5.08 per cent)

Canadian average CSI 72.87 (1.62 per cent increase)

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