Surrey RCMP say there was a “substantial increase” in violent crime in the first quarter of this year.
The total number of Criminal Code offences, police say, increased by four per cent. However, a big jump in violent crime — 43 per cent — was recorded with notable increases in robberies, sexual offences and assaults.
Twenty-seven per cent of assaults involved intimate partner violence, while gropings continue to be an issue, making up 24 per cent of sex offences.
In cases of sex offences, 68 per cent involved an offender known to the victim.
There were nine shots-fired incidents, meanwhile, and Surrey RCMP say this continues to be their top priority.
There is, however, some good news — property crime is down nine per cent.
The latest stats, according to Karen Reid Sidhu, executive director of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, are “frustrating and alarming.”
“Our judicial system keeps allowing these prolific hardcore offenders out,” she said, “and it’s like a revolving door with the police officers that are arresting them.
“There is no reason why anybody who is a dangerous offender should be released on bail.”
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Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko said some crime stats may be impacted by recent revisions to Stats Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.
“Previous to January 1, 2019 there was a classification known as ‘unsubstantiated,’ and certain crime types including sexual assaults and some violent crime types. The category of unsubstantiated has been removed so where we previously had three buckets to store our info now there are only two.”
Sturko said while these changes do not account for the entire increase in crime stats, they have had an impact on this year’s stats.
How much of an impact, she says, is difficult to tell.