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Crime rates decreasing in Abbotsford-Mission CMA

Crime rates in the Abbotsford-Mission census metropolitan area (CMA) have fallen two per cent since last year, according to numbers released by Statistics Canada last week.

And Mission RCMP’s focus on property and violent crime for the past two years have shown promising results.

Staff Sgt. Rob Dixon, acting officer in charge of the Mission detachment, said violent crimes have dropped 21.69 per cent since 2011, while property crimes have gone down 15.1 per cent.

“I think based on those numbers we’re doing a great job,” he said.

And the level of serious crime dropped even further in the CMA, with both the violent crime rate and the crime severity index dropping five per cent, and the violent crime severity index falling 13 per cent from the previous year. The formula for the crime severity indexes assigns weight to various offences based on their seriousness.

As a whole, Abbotsford-Mission’s crime rate is the ninth highest in the country among Canada’s 33 CMAs and remains substantially above the national average, although the local violent crime severity index is better than Canada’s average.

But according to one statistical measure, the rate of crimes per 100,000 population (RPP) in Mission is far higher than Abbotsford.

Statistics Canada lists Abbotsford’s RPP at 5,304, while in Mission, it is 9,066, or 70 per cent more. But this rate, too, has been falling since a 2010 high of 10,426.

Split from Abbotsford, Statistics Canada said 3,441 crimes (excluding traffic violations) were recorded in 2013 in the District of Mission’s municipal area, which represents a 7.87 per cent drop since 2012 (RPP 3,713).

Property crimes are the most reported offence in Mission, with 2,136 incidents recorded in 2013 (RPP 5,628).

There were 964 cases of theft under $5,000 (RPP 2,540), 513 incidents of mischief (RPP 1,351), and 493 (RPP 1,299) disturb the peace offences.

And in all these cases, the rate was higher compared to Abbotsford.

Abbotsford saw 5,127 cases of property crime (RPP 3,679); 2,336 instances of theft under $5,000 (RPP 1,676); 1,043 reports of mischief (RPP 748.5), and; 302 incidents of disturbing the peace (RPP 216).

Mission RCMP Sgt. Rob Dixon, the acting officer in charge of the detachment, said there likely wasn’t one clear reason why the statistics vary so strongly between Abbotsford and Mission.

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