Crime rate dropping in Langley City

Most crime categories have seen a decrease in numbers for Langley City, according to the latest RCMP report to council.

Langley RCMP Insp. Rob de Boersap, now overseeing the Langley detachment, brought the latest figures for City council’s July 7 meeting.

“Crime against persons are down 13 per cent,” he said.

The figures are from the period January to June and compare 2014 with 2013.

Within crimes against persons, there was a 40 per cent drop in sexual assaults, a 17 per cent drop in assaults and a 35 per cent decline in robberies.

Coupled with the nine per cent increase in fraud and no change in the drug crime stats, it averages out to a 13 per cent decline.

“We do have one large fraud file with government cheques being altered and passed at various institutions,” de Boersap said about the fraud increase.

The RCMP dealt with 223 crimes against persons files from January to June 2013 and 194 in the first six months of 2014.

In addition to crimes against persons, de Boersap presented a snapshot of crimes related to property which generates more files.

Langley City had 1,297 property crime files in the first half of 2013 and 1,062 in the first six months of this year.

“The average drop of 18 per cent in these property crimes,” de Boersap said about property crimes.

The only category showing a six per cent rise is petty break and enter from such things as fenced areas and garden sheds.

Residential B&Es were down 47 per cent while the drop for business B&Es was 31 per cent.

Arson is down by half and there was a modest drop in auto theft but a 14 per cent decline in theft from auto.

De Boersap’s update to City council included introducing two reserve constables. Reserve members are retired RCMP who have been brought back to fill positions.

The reserve members are out doing such work as crime prevention files, graffiti, homelessness, liaising with the business community and foot patrols.

Councillor Dave Hall wondered if this was necessary due to a lack of young people joining the force. Hall said in education, older retired teachers move to the teacher on-call list and prevent young people from entering the field. He questioned whether the same thing is happening with the RCMP.

De Boersap said young people aren’t being turned away from jobs. The RCMP training depot has ramped up its numbers to meet national demand for more police and should be caught up in a couple of years. Until then reserve members help fill the need.

He also told council that the dog unit, based in Port Kells, has been around the City’s problem spots such as the bus loop, Douglas Park, and Innes Corner doing training.

Acting Mayor Ted Schaffer said anyone who thinks they can stash drugs or cash as part of drug deals may be in for a surprise with this extra police presence.

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