July 20, 2016 9:14 pm

Abbotsford among top cities with highest crime increase

WATCH: B.C. is not leading the pack but is certainly helping with the notable up tick. John Daly has more on what's behind the gains and why the increase may not be from where you would assume.

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Crime across the country is up for the first time in over a decade, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

According to the report, B.C. saw in increase in the Crime Severity Index (CSI) of four per cent.

Violent crime in this province climbed by seven per cent, while reports of property crime went up by two per cent.

But two B.C. cities had some of the highest increases in their CSI for all of Canada in 2015.

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Victoria saw its CSI go up by 16 per cent, while Abbotsford’s went up by 14 per cent.

READ MORE: Abbotsford Holds Town Meeting on Crime

Constable Ian Macdonald with Abbotsford police says the increase – especially on violent crime – can be attributed  to low-level organized crime.

“We call it the Townline Hill conflict, it’s essentially two groups involved in the gang world and in the drug trade, who are, have been, in conflict with each other.” he said.

“Regrettably, some of that conflict has come to involve innocent bystanders, neighbourhoods, people that shouldn’t be affected by this type of crime.”

READ MORE: Community concerned about ongoing feud between rival gangs

He says police have been making appeals to the public to come forward with crime information as part of their efforts to lower the numbers.

Nationally, there were almost 1.9 million criminal code incidents last year – an increase of 70,000 from the year before.

With files from John Daly

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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