Langley City has highest violent assault rate in Metro Vancouver

Langley City had the highest rate for assaults, with 2.64 incidents per 1,000 people last year.

This is the reported incidents of assault with a weapon, or assault causing bodily harm, per 1,000 people. The numbers are based on 2013 Juristat figures.

Langley City has the highest per-capita rate for serious assaults of any Metro Vancouver community, a Times analysis of regional crime statistics shows.

Based on police reports, roughly three out of every 1,000 people in Langley City were victims of assault involving bodily harm and/or assaults involving weapons in 2013.

Among Lower Mainland urban communities, Langley City had the highest rate for that type of crime with 2.64 incidents per 1,000 people last year, followed by second-worst Vancouver, which reported 2.45 incidents of serious assault per 1,000 people, and number three Surrey, with 1.68 incidents per 1,000 residents.

The city rate was more than double the Township of Langley rate of 1.25 per thousand for assaults involving weapons and physical injury.

It was also more than double neighbouring Abbotsford, which reported 1.17 incidents of assaults involving weapons or injury per 1,000 residents.

The city rate was also higher than the provincial average of 1.54 incidents per 1,000 people.

However, the number of incidents recorded by police in Langley City has dropped by 19 per cent from 2012, when it stood at 3.25.

The Township rate dropped 3.5 per cent over the same period.

Over the past five years, the Langley City rate peaked in 2010 at 3.76 or roughly four victims per 1,000, the worst urban rate in Metro.

The least violent Metro Vancouver community was Port Moody, which reported a rate of .46 in 2013, less than one incident of violent or weapons-based assault for every 1,000 people.

The crime figures for 2013 were obtained from Juristat, a Statistics Canada website that provides analysis and detailed statistics on a variety of justice-related topics and issues.

For the purpose of comparison, figures for less common and less severe forms of assault were excluded from The Times’ survey.

Earlier this year, The Times reported that Langley City had the worst crime severity ranking of any Lower Mainland community. The police-reported 2013 Crime Severity Index (CSI), released by Statistics Canada in July, showed the city was the third highest in B.C. among all Canadian communities with populations of 10,000 or more.

The city ranked eighth highest in all of Canada.

At the time, then-acting mayor Ted Schaffer said the city has taken a number of steps to reduce crime, including funding for two additional RCMP officers; changing shifts so a city bylaw enforcement officer works weekends and hiring a security guard to accompany the bylaw enforcement officer.

Schaffer said the increased police presence gives the city the equivalent of 52 officers, which he said was the highest police-to-population ratio in the Lower Mainland.

An RCMP spokesperson said property crime, mostly theft from autos and mail theft, were the most common offences in Langley City.

The Township of Langley, with a crime severity index of 87.6, was number five in Metro, number 28 in B.C. and 63rd in Canada.

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