LETTERS: Many factors in crime rate decline

Editor:

Re: Crime in Surrey down by four per cent in 2018, Jan. 23.

The recently released crime rate numbers for Surrey, and the overall decline of crime (both property and violent), confirm what some criminologists have been saying about the disconnection between public perceptions that crime is rising (or even “getting out of control”) in Surrey and the realities of declining crime. And the declining crime rates in Surrey, a trend over several years, not only 2018, should give us pause in considering appeals for more police or increased police budgets in Surrey.

We must also avoid the mistake of assuming that declining crime rates result solely, or even predominantly, from policing. This assumption seems to provide an undercurrent of the present article, with its focus on the RCMP.

Declining crime rates represent a trend observed over the course of decades.

Statistics Canada research concludes that many social factors have contributed to declining crime rates in Canada, with no direct relationship to increased policing. In the words of StatsCan: “Experts have not reached a consensus on why crime has been declining since the 1990s, but several factors have been cited as possible explanations.”

Decades of criminology research arrive at similar conclusions.

In 2013, the police-reported crime rate was at its lowest level since 1969.

According to StatsCan, the potentially explanatory factors that come up in research include aging populations, the growth and spread of technology (especially technologies that can be accessed in home), shifts in unemployment, changes in alcohol consumption, neighbourhood characteristics, or even shifting attitudes towards illegal and risky behaviour.

Notably, similar, consistently downward, trends in crime rates have been observed in other liberal democratic, industrial countries like Canada.

And in those cases, too, there is no single factor that explains the crime-rate declines.

Dr. Jeff Shantz, Department of Criminology, KPU Surrey

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

White Rock to review tower heights in town centre

City voted Thursday to include the town centre in its official community plan review

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read

l -->