Abbotsford crime drops seven per cent, according to national stats

Statistics Canada released its numbers for crime rates and the crime severity index for 2012.

The latest national crime stats indicate that crime dropped seven per cent in Abbotsford from 2011 to 2012.

The latest national crime stats indicate that crime dropped seven per cent in Abbotsford from 2011 to 2012.

The latest national stats show that crime in the Abbotsford-Mission census metropolitan area (CMA) dropped seven per cent from 2011 to 2012.

The area recorded the 11th highest crime rate among the 33 CMAs included by Statistics Canada for 2012 and was the 10th highest in its crime severity index.

The crime stats were released last Thursday by the national agency.

Abbotsford-Mission tallied 6,148 Criminal Code offences per 100,000 population in 2012, compared to the national average of 5,588.

The area also recorded a crime severity index of 83.4, a drop of six per cent compared to its 2011 figure of 87.9.

The index is a formula based on the number of crimes in a CMA and the severity of each offence.

The national average is 75.

Abbotsford Police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald said although the area’s crime rate and crime severity index are higher than the national average, the rate is lower for the number of violent crimes.

“For a community formerly known as the Murder Capital of Canada, it’s those violent stats that have become important, but I’d say we’re working hard to bring all our numbers down.”

Abbotsford topped national stats for its six murders in 2008 and 11 in 2009 – many gang-related – but has since drastically reduced those numbers. There were three murders in 2012, and two so far this year.

MacDonald said the APD views the recent crime stats as “all right.”

“I don’t know if you’re ever pleased if you’re trying to be the safest city in B.C. (and the numbers aren’t there yet),” he said.

The three CMAs recording the highest crime rates were Kelowna (8,875), Regina (8,755) and Saskatoon (8,512), while the lowest was Toronto (3,131).

Toronto also had the lowest crime severity index at 52.1, while the three highest were Regina (116), Saskatoon (107.1) and Kelowna (104.1).