Surrey — once dubbed the car-theft capital of North America — can now boast a crime rate that’s the lowest it’s been in a decade.
Crime in B.C.’s second largest city has gone down every year since 2003, according to numbers released yesterday by the RCMP.
Const. Peter Neily said active surveillance of known criminals and partnerships with community programs like the Bait Car program has played a large role in a steady decrease in all crimes.
“It’s a small percentage of the population responsible for a large percentage of the crime and we actively target those individuals,” he said.
“Having said that, we’re not just out there arresting people. We’re also engaging (youth) … and getting them to be leaders.”
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said the findings show that the city’s and RCMP’s crime-reduction strategies are paying off.
“That’s not to say we don’t have little blips as we go along, but with our crime analysts we can get on top of that really quickly.”
Watts added the statistics help dilute stereotypes that Surrey is unsafe.
“We have to look at what is perception and reality,” Watts said. “(People) have looked at one area (of Surrey) and equated that with the entire city.
“We have 1,000 people a month moving in to the city and people are choosing to raise their families here. Any city of half-a-million people, you’re going to have issues as you grow and we’re not different.”