Surrey's murder rate could reach new high in 2013

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Driven by organized crime and gang activity, the City of Surrey’s murder rate for 2013 is a new high for the city.

With a month and a half left to go in the year, Surrey has already recorded 21 murders matching the same 21 murder numbers that were also seen in the city in 2005 and exceeding the 20 in 2009. Speaking to Global BC, Surrey mayor Dianne Watts is worried that the four year spike in her city’s murder rate is more than just coincidental.

The city also receives much of the region’s incoming population growth with as many as a thousand people moving into its neighbourhoods every month.

Across the country, according to Statistics Canada’s numbers from July 2013, crime rates have hit a 46-year low and the homicide rate has dropped by 10 per cent bringing it down to the lowest level since 1972. The seriousness and number of criminal offences has also dropped by 28 per cent over the last ten years. The Canadian crime rate peaked in 1991 and has been falling ever since.

Within both the cities of Vancouver and Surrey, violent crime and property crime rates have been gradually decreasing over much of the last decade.

However, one B.C. city tops the list for crime in Canada: in 2012, Kelowna reported a crime rate of 8,875 crimes for every 100,000 people. In contrast, the entirety of Metro Vancouver stands at a rate of 6,958 per 100,000 which ranks at the seventh highest in the country.

To date, the City of Vancouver has reported just five murders in 2013.

Image: Fer Gregory / Shutterstock

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