Is Vancouver Experiencing an Increase in Violent Crime?
There have been some articles recently in the press about crime trends in Vancouver suggesting that there is a significant increase in violent crimes. Violent crime is not increasing in Vancouver, and statistics can be confusing. In today’s blog, we will review the crime trends in Vancouver.
Most big cities worldwide experienced some changes in crime trends while people were locked down. There were, in general, increases in commercial break-ins likely because many businesses were closed and people worked from home.
At the same time, there were decreases in robbery and theft from home because those same people who were not at their offices stayed home. There were small increases in domestic violence and also in sex crimes.
Crime also had small increases in poorer neighbourhoods where more people experienced job loss and financial insecurity than in relatively wealthier neighbourhoods.
Surrey, BC, is in a class by itself. Surrey has a high rate of crime and is ranked by a number of statistical agencies as the city in Canada with the highest crime rate. This, however, is not news. This was true before, during, and after the pandemic. Why this is the case is beyond the scope of this short article. If you look at crime rates in other areas of the Lower Mainland, in fact crime rates are slightly down including for violent crimes.
Why, then is there press about increasing crime rates?
This is likely a political tool. It is in the police forces’ best interests to show increases in crime to justify increases in budget from year to year. Similarly, those running for office with a tough-on-crime platform want to talk about violent crime.
If you look at the big picture and crime statistics over five or 10 years, then you will see a small decrease in crime on the Lower Mainland including Vancouver, but setting aside Surrey. Statistics on sexual assault, child abuse, and crimes like incest are notoriously difficult to interpret because these crimes are vastly underreported. Some experts suggest that as much as 90 percent of these crimes are never logged. So, always keep that in mind when examining any crime statistics.
Also, no matter what any statistics report or what crime trends are, if a violent crime happens to you, then the occurrence is 100 percent for you, and we do not intend to minimize the suffering of any victims of violent crime or sex crimes or domestic violence in our blog.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, engage a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Do not make any statements to police until you have spoken with your lawyer. You have that right. If you need an experienced criminal lawyer in Vancouver, call Michael Bloom at (604) 603-5513.
Michael Bloom is a very experienced criminal defence lawyer, who started his career as a Crown Prosecutor.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Bloom, please call his office at (604) 603-5513 or Toll-Free at (877) 603-5513.