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Top cop predicts crime rate will drop

The officer in charge of the Langley RCMP, Supt. Derek Cooke is seen here making an arrest of a suspected truck thief in the Township earlier this year. Cooke says a spike in break-ins and vehicle thefts in the Township led police to give special attention to both categories of crime. - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
The officer in charge of the Langley RCMP, Supt. Derek Cooke is seen here making an arrest of a suspected truck thief in the Township earlier this year. Cooke says a spike in break-ins and vehicle thefts in the Township led police to give special attention to both categories of crime.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

New national crime rate figures show the number of stolen vehicles and break-ins rose substantially in the Township of Langley during the most recent period surveyed by Statistics Canada.

During 2010, the Township reported more than 1,000 break-ins, roughly double the Canadian average, and more than 700 car and truck thefts, nearly triple the national numbers.

Langley had the second-worst rate for auto theft, worse than third-place Surrey but better than first-place Joliette, Que.

That was substantially poorer than the previous year, when Langley ranked ninth in the country in that category.

The Township also had the third-worst rate for break-ins in Canada after second-place Prince George, B.C. and first-place Belleville, Ont.

The year before, it was number 12.

The Township was below the Canadian average in every other category of crime, including homicides, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults and robberies.

However, the overall Langley crime rate was still higher than most at number 20 on the list, better than B.C. communities like Vancouver (18), Surrey (10) and Victoria (2) but worse than Maple Ridge (24) and Burnaby (26).

The figures were reported in the annual MacLean’s magazine annual crime rankings of 100 selected Canadian cities, which were released on Thursday, Dec. 15.

The survey declared Prince George the most dangerous city in Canada with the highest violent and non-violent crime rates and Caledon, Ont., the safest with the lowest overall crime rate.

The City of Langley was not included in the survey.

The Township crime rate results were no surprise to the officer in charge of the Langley RCMP, Supt. Derek Cooke, who said the spike in break-ins and vehicle thefts led police to give special attention to both categories of crime using new tactics that have reduced the number of incidents.

Among other things, Cooke said the Langley RCMP launched a “robust” program that goes after the prolific offenders responsible for a disproportionate number of theft-related offences.

So far, he said, the numbers for 2011 show break-ins are down 11 per cent and vehicle theft is down 25 per cent.

“I’m optimistic the same statistical analysis next year will show Langley has improved,” Cooke told The Times.

He also noted the crime figures show Langley residents are less likely to be victims of violent crime than most Canadians.

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