New stats show the number of police calls for service in Langley City has fallen (file)

New stats show the number of police calls for service in Langley City has fallen (file)

Langley City crime stats show double-digit drop

COVID-19, by keeping people home, may be discouraging thieves

COVID-19 is being cited as the possible reason for a declining crime rate in Langley City.

Coun. Nathan Pachal, chair of the Crime Prevention Task Group, has released figures showing a year-to-year drop in calls for service to RCMP for the months of April (5.9 per cent down compared to that month in 2019), May (14.6 per cent down) , June (14.5 per cent below June 2019), July (down 13.5 per cent), August (18.3 per cent), September (16.2 per cent), and October 15.4 per cent).

Pachal said the numbers have have “decreased significantly.”

“The crime rate is down and calls for service are down.”

Before the pandemic hit, calls for service were up, in January compared to the previous year (an increase of 4.3 per cent), as well as February (5.2 per cent), and March (1.8 per cent), the month restrictions started being imposed.

Graphic from

A call for service is recorded whenever someone contacts the RCMP, by dialing 911, the non-emergency line at 604-532-3200, or using the online crime reporting tool for less serious crime involving amounts under $5,000.

Pachal said he’s heard two possible explanations for the drop.

One is that with more people staying at home, property-related crime is discouraged.

The other is that, with COVID-19 benefits from the federal government, people who might be committing crimes “have an income” and are less likely to steal.

Township of Langley crime stats for the same period show a similar trend, with one exception.

Calls for service were up prior to the onset of the pandemic, with a 2.4 per cent increase in January 2020 and a 5.7 per cent hike in February compared to the same months in 2019.

In March, calls were up just one per cent, but in April, they rose by 11.6 per cent, during a time when mail theft incidents spiked.

After that, there was a drop every month.

May recorded a 6.5 per cent reduction, June was down 10.8 per cent, July was down 3.7 per cent, August dropped 8.0 per cent, September was down 3.0 per cent and calls were 3.4 per cent lower in October.

READ MORE: Mail theft more than doubles in Langley City

COVID-19 is also considered a factor that drove up mail theft earlier in the year, with with the distribution of Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) cheques triggering a wave of break-ins to condo buildings, community mailboxes, porches and individual mailboxes.

READ MORE: 2019 crime spike in B.C. largest in 20 years; RCMP say it’s partly due to changes in stat organizing

Province-wide, crime was up last year, with B.C. reporting the largest increase since 1998.

Criminal code violations increased by just over 18 per cent, driven by a jump in impaired driving incidents of 44 per cent, a rise in robberies of 13 per cent and a 40 per cent increase in criminal harassment cases.

RCMP said part of the reason for last year’s crime spike were revisions to the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey on definitions of founded and unfounded incidents.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronaviruscrime rateLangley CityRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chris Veale, seen here at Brookswood Secondary School on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, has been coaching girls basketball for more than 20 years (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Coach Chris Veale backs his players

When the gym closed, this dedicated basketball coach found another way

Tabor Village took to social media on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 to share what it meant to them to have Langley Lodge staff visit and provide support. As of Tuesday (Dec. 1), the outbreak at Tabor had resulted in a total of 147 cases and 19 deaths since Nov. 4. (Tabor Village/Facebook)
Langley Lodge shows ‘solidarity’ by visiting staff of B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak

As of Tuesday, Abbotsford facility recorded 147 cases and 19 deaths since Nov. 4

Brian Lott, of the Rotary Club of Langley Central, emceed the prize draw on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley woman wins $73,615 in first ever Langley Rotary Mega Draw

After months of ticket sales, the draw was livestreamed from the Rotary Interpretive Centre Thursday

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
‘No smoke, no fire’ defense says in conflict case that could kick three off Langley Township council

Lawyers argued there’s no evidence of any conflict or vote-for-money deal

Kanata Soranaka became a Belmont bulldog this school year, and has used technology and innovation to continue to bring music to students despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley teacher finds new ways to keep the music playing during COVID

Kanata Soranaka and her music cart a common sight around Belmont Elementary

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read