Crime severity is up in both Langley City and Township, according to Statistics Canada.
This week saw the release of statistics for crimes reported to the police across the country.
Nationally and regionally, the picture is good. Across Canada, the overall crime rate dropped by three per cent - part of a steady decline that goes back to 1991. There was also a three per cent drop in the Crime Severity Index.
The crime rate is based on the total number of crimes reported per 100,000 people. The rate is now at its lowest since 1972.
In Metro Vancouver, the overall crime rate was 6,958 in 2012, down two per cent since 2011.
Crime rates for the Langleys were not immediately available.
The crime severity index, meanwhile, measures the overall seriousness of crimes, not the absolute number of crimes taking place.
In Langley Township in 2012, the overall crime severity index was 102.32, up 4.78 per cent, while the violent crime severity index was 89.82, a 41.52 per cent increase.
In Langley City, the crime severity index was 183.86, up 7.95 per cent. The violent crime severity index was also higher than in the Township, at 138.63, but declined 8.17 per cent from 2011.
Langley Township saw two murders in both 2011 and 2012, which kept the crime severity rating high in the community.
The index for both regular crime and violent crime was at or higher than average in the Langleys, compared to the provincial numbers.
In B.C. in 2012, the overall crime severity index was 93.35, down 1.89 per cent from the year before. The violent crime severity rate was 89.33, down 5.40 from 2011.
Statistics Canada introduced the Crime Severity Index several years ago so that the entire crime rate of towns, regions, and the country would not be based on the total number of arrests alone.
The crime severity index gives different weights to different crimes, with murder, manslaughter, violent sexual assaults and gun crimes near the top, and disturbing the peace and possession of marijuana at the bottom.
In other words, a community with a large number of arrests for minor crimes like shoplifting would have a lower rating than a community with few overall crimes, but a handful of murders.
If only the crime rate is used, a town with several hundred shoplifting arrests could appear to have a much worse crime problem than one in which police were dealing with murders and assaults.
Waves of minor crimes, like thefts from cars, often committed repeatedly by one or two individuals, can skew crime rates.
@ Copyright 2013