Has Surrey’s Crime Rate Gone Up in 2023?

February 23rd, 2024
Has Surrey’s Crime Rate Gone Up in 2023?

We often hear headlines about Surrey being one of the more dangerous cities in Metro Vancouver, with violent crime and property crime supposedly increasing every year, but do the stats agree with that?

With 2023 now complete, we have access to the RCMP crime stat reports for last year, and in today's blog, we are going to assess and analyze the data to determine if crime in Surrey is on the rise or if it is subsiding.

All statistics for this article were gathered from the Surrey RCMP website

Which Crimes Are On the Rise

In Surrey, a few crime categories have notably risen from 2022 to 2023. 

The first standout category is identity theft and fraud, reflecting a significant increase of 24% in year-over-year offenses. With the rise of cyber-attacks and new technologies, theft, and fraud are likely to remain prevalent moving forward and is an area that requires ongoing vigilance.

Another area where we observed an increase in crime rates is shoplifting incidents, which surged by 43% over the previous year. Additionally, theft of possessions over $5,000 and under $5,000 increased by 7% and 16% respectively. 

This increase could suggest an economic strain pushing individuals towards criminal acts as a means to survive. While it does not make the actions justified, economic hardships often push people to drastic measures.

The good news is these were the only categories that saw more than a 10% increase in crime rates from 2023 to 2022. This is an exciting and encouraging development for the Surrey community, as it shows crime rates are slowing and, in most cases, decreasing year-over-year.

The Decline of Crime in Key Areas

Now that we've highlighted areas where crime is increasing, it would be remiss to overlook areas where crime has decreased. 

The first area where we saw a decrease was residential B&E (break and entry), which diminished by an encouraging 21%. Factors contributing to these improvements could involve more robust neighborhood watch programs or enhanced home security technology deterring potential burglars.

Another area of decline was assault, which decreased by a respectable 4% year-over-year compared to 2022. The 4% decline in assault statistics in Surrey could be attributed to improved social services and support systems for at-risk individuals.

Last but not least, mischief-related offenses receded by 9%. This category often includes petty vandalism, and its decline can be attributed to effective community outreach programs and crime prevention initiatives taking root within local neighborhoods. 

Overall, we believe these positive strides showcase Surrey's ever-evolving strategies aimed at creating safer environments for its inhabitants.

Analyzing Data to Continue the Downward Crime Trend

The RCMP organizes crime rates into major categories, these being Violent Crimes, Property Crimes, Other CC Offences, and Total CC. Crime rate across all categories decreased by as much as 17%, marking a significant improvement in the overall safety of Surrey.

However, a purely statistical approach can only reveal so much about criminals' impact on societal well-being. Behind every statistic lies real people whose lives have been affected by crime—whether through direct victimization, community impact, or general perceptions about safety in their surroundings.

What matters most is how these numbers translate into experiences on Surrey streets, such as how businesses adapt to increased shoplifting threats, and what steps residents take to prevent theft. 

Only by blending data with human stories can we create comprehensive approaches capable of continuing downward trends and addressing emerging challenges head-on.

Maintaining a Safe Future for Surrey

Surrey is witnessing an encouraging decline in crime, fostering a renewed sense of optimism amongst its residents. With fewer incidents casting shadows on daily life, there's a palpable uplift in public confidence, one that breathes new energy into local businesses and invites communal participation.

To continue this decrease, we must support engagement programs, neighborhood watch groups, and provide educational outreach to local communities. 

By fostering cooperation with law enforcement and nurturing environments that dissuade criminal behavior, Surrey’s citizens empower themselves and each other. It is through proactive vigilance, shared responsibility, and inclusive initiatives that everyone can play a part in securing their safety and decreasing crime rates across Surrey.

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.