Newton once again has the dubious title of leading in Surrey’s violent crime, according to statistics released by the RCMP this week.
The second quarter statistics are a round-up of crimes from April to June 2014 in the city. The report also includes a summary of what’s going on in Surrey so far this year.
It comes on the heels of a year in 2013 that painted Newton as a particularly dangerous policing district.
Last year, you were more likely to be killed in Newton than any other community. It was also the worst for sex assault (106 last year) and kidnappings and abductions (15).
In the first six months of this year, the embattled community is home to 60 sex assaults – double the sex assaults of any other community. Both Whalley and Guildford/Port Kells came in at 30 from Jan. 1 to June 30.
Newton topped violent crime overall as well (with 978 offences), edging out Whalley which registered 937.
After the record year of murders last year, they were down across the city, including Newton which recorded only one, compared to six last year.
As was the case last year, Whalley was close behind Newton in most violent crime categories, and surpassed it in robberies and assaults.
In fact, on a per-capita basis, Whalley outstrips Newton in many areas, because it’s much smaller.
In violent crime, Whalley registered 11.92 incidents per 1,000 people, where Newton came in at 7.19. The two were about double anywhere else in the city, with Guildford/Fleetwood at 4.3 incidents per 1,000, Cloverdale/Port Kells at 3.11 and South Surrey at 2.14.
Despite Whalley’s much larger population, Newton still recorded more sex assaults than it’s northern neighbour by 15 per cent.
Newton experienced far more business break and enters, theft, fraud, identity theft, theft from vehicles and identity theft than any other community in the first half of this year as well.
Prostitution occurred in Newton at double the rate of Whalley, six times that of Guildford/Fleetwood and 24 times that of South Surrey.
For the first time, the quarterly statistics include a two-and-a-half page narrative explaining the variances that might be expected in the figures.
“The data represents ‘snapshots’ in time and is subject to change for a variety of reasons, including late reporting and reclassification due to circumstance,” the report of “qualifiers” states.
Surrey RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr said sometimes sex assaults are reported the next day from another community. As the complainant might not know where it occurred, it is logged at the main detachment, which is in Newton.
Nancy Drewery, Court Team Leader for Surrey Women’s Centre was unsure why Newton would be higher.
She pointed out sex assaults have been higher overall because of more reporting.
That’s largely due to a 24/7 service called Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team. It makes it easier, and less frightening, to report those crimes.
It was set up for the 2010 Olympic ceremonies and was such a success, it was kept in service.
Women looking to get in touch with the SMART program, call 604-583-1295.