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 sfb.nathanpachal.com.

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.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley and other communities should be concerned about credit union’s direction

Member read the fine print and does not like the proposed changes

Langley MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman. (Black Press Media files)
Langley MLAs announce multiculturalism grants intended to help fight racism

Priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism

Jaden Lipinski has signed to the Langley-based Vancouver Giants, and is expected to start next season. (Lipinski Family/Special to Black Press Media)
Arizona forward joins Vancouver Giants ranks

A young scorer out of Scottsdale was signed to start playing in the 2021-22 season

Langley Township is planning to construct a multi-use arts and cultural centre in Fort Langley. (Langley Township graphic)
Wanna buy a piece of Langley history? Museum naming rights up for grabs

Township opens up sponsorship for new Salishan Place by the River history, arts and culture centre

Vancouver Giants goalie Trent Miner saw his lengthy shutout streak in the net come to an end in a 6-3 loss against Prince George on Saturday, April 10. (Allen Douglas/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Giants winning streak snapped by Prince George Cougars in 6-3 loss

The game also marked the end of a franchise-record shutout streak by goalie Trent Miner

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

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

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read