Violent crime, sexual assaults increase in Langley

Yearly crime stats show which crimes are on the rise or falling.

Langley City’s crime rate remained well above that of Langley Township in 2017, according to Statistics Canada numbers released this summer.

In 2017, the City recorded a slight increase in the total crime rate. There were 18,164.98 crimes per 100,000 residents, up from 17,992.72 the year before.

Because of Langley City’s population of a little more than 25,000 people, this means the real number of crimes was about 25 per cent of the crime rate number.

Lanlgey Township, meanwhile, recorded a crime rate less than half that of the City, and saw a year-over-year decline. The Township crime rate was 7,362.82 per 100,000 residents, down from 7,914.56 in 2016.

Both City and Township saw some good news on another front, however. Both municipalities saw declines in the crime severity index.

The City’s severity index dropped to 187.49 from 197.35 the year before, and the Township’s dropped to 91.22 from 98.63.

The crime severity index weights serious crimes more highly than petty and non-violent offences.

According to Statistics Canada, about 40 per cent of all police-reported crimes in Canada come from just two categories: mischief, and theft under $5,000.

Changes in those numbers – such as a series of car break ins or a vandal breaking windows – can cause the overall crime rate to spike. Likewise, the arrest of one or two prolific petty criminals can cause the crime rate to drop suddenly, even if serious crimes such as murder and sexual assault are on the rise.

The crime severity index gives more weight to crimes that carry longer prison terms, such as armed robbery, murder, or sexual assault.

Statistics Canada breaks down the crime stats into multiple categories. While Langley City had a higher rate in each category, the two communities, both policed by the same RCMP detachment, tended to rise or fall together.

Total violent crime was up in both City and Township, at a rate of 1,752.39 per 100,000 people in the City, and 726.26 in the Township.

Total non-violent crime was down slightly in each community too, at 17,655.65 in the City and 6,971.62 in the Township.

The total sexual assault rate was up in both communities: 71.24 per 100,000 people in the City and 32.82 in the Township.

Physical assaults rose slightly in the City t0 822.77 per 100,000 people, while the Township saw a slight decline to 308.3.

The robbery rate in the City dropped, to 135.35 per 100,000 residents, while the Township’s edged upwards to 60.45.

The two municipalities also diverged on firearm-related violent crime. While the City was highter, it dropped almost 50 per cent year over year, to 28.49 incidents per 100,000 residents. The Township saw its gun crime index rise to 24.18.

Both communities saw declines in their break and enter rate, to 1,004.42 for the City and to 698.63 for the Township.

There were slight declines in drug crimes (not including cannabis) in both City and Township, down to 1,221.68 for the City, 307.43 for the Township.

READ MORE: Block Watch helped clean up crime in Langley neighbourhood

READ MORE: RCMP mapping shows crime low in Brookswood

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