Surrey: Homicides down in Q2, but violent crime up thanks to shootings

Surrey RCMP Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy Photo by Chandra Bodalia

THE Surrey RCMP have released the 2015 second quarter crime statistics and the public can obtain a copy of the report from the Surrey RCMP website (www.surrey.rcmp.ca).

Although homicides are down 14%, year to date, the City of Surrey has seen a 36% increase in violent crime.

A significant part of this increase is attributed to the series of shootings that occurred in the city between March and June. Surrey RCMP, CFSEU-BC and Delta Police continue to target the two groups believed to be involved in this low-level, drug conflict. Using numerous tactics, including overt and covert enforcement initiatives and community engagement, Surrey RCMP say they have been gathering intelligence and evidence on those we believe are involved in these targeted shootings to advance the investigations. Recently, they have seen a significant decrease in the number of shootings related to this conflict with a total of three occurring in May and June, compared to the seven reported in April.

Surrey RCMP say they continue to see an increase in robberies, which is attributed to several robbery series. The last quarter saw cigarettes being targeted in convenience stores across the Lower Mainland, a series of bank robberies, and robberies using online classified advertisements. Surrey RCMP’s Robbery Unit continues to have had significant success in financial institution robberies, achieving a nearly 100% solve rate.

Surrey RCMP are also seeing an increase in sexual assaults. Their Special Victims Unit and Domestic Violence Unit are working closely with victims and vulnerable populations to target suspects and prevent victimization. In 88% of the incidents, the victims knew the offender.

A 13% increase in spousal assaults was seen in Q2. The Surrey RCMP continue to target domestic abuse through the work of its Domestic Violence Unit and public education campaigns such as the Rakhi Project, which is running from July 15-August 29.

The second quarter also saw an increase of six abduction / kidnapping files, which were primarily related to domestic/custody disputes.

Surrey continues to see a decrease in property crime. Year to date, property crime is down 7%, with the most notable decreases in break and enter (-16%), theft from vehicle (-17%), and theft of motor vehicle (-9%).

The Surrey RCMP’s Auto Crime Target Team (ACTT) conducted “Project Hot Wheels” this past spring which resulted in 33 arrests and the recovery of over 75 stolen vehicles in a one month period. A total of 63 arrests relating to auto theft were made in the second quarter of 2015.

The 20% increase seen in stolen property and offensive weapons is reflective of an increase in targeting known offenders who are found to be in possession of these items. Over the past three months a total of 96 weapons were seized, including 12 firearms, as a result of the joint enforcement initiative between Surrey RCMP, CFSEU-BC and Delta Police.

In addition to enforcement, the Surrey RCMP continued its efforts to decrease crime through crime prevention and community mobilization during the second quarter of 2015. The Neighbourhood Safety Campaign continued, a community forum was held and attended by over 700 residents, and the Citizen and Youth Police Academies were announced.

“I am pleased to see that property crime is down in our city as a result of the hard work of our target teams and residents and business owners who are taking steps to protect themselves and their property,” says Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Surrey RCMP Officer-in-Charge. “While the news is not as good in our violent crime category, the focus we’ve placed on the shooting conflict and robberies with our law enforcement partners is leading to arrests and charges that will hopefully drive crime down as we continue to apply significant pressure to these offenders.”