Chilliwack’s crime rate remains among the highest in the region, considerably higher than nearby Abbotsford or Surrey, according to Statistics Canada data released recently.
At a rate of 12,287 incidents per 100,000 population in Chilliwack in 2018, that compares to a crime rate of 7,000 in Abbotsford and 8,196 in Surrey.
B.C.-wide the 2018 crime rate was 8,210.
And while Chilliwack’s crime rate is substantially higher than Abbotsford’s, there were even more actual incidents of crime despite Abbotsford being 50 per cent larger in population. There are approximately 84,000 people in the City of Chilliwack and 141,000 in Abbotsford. There were 11,751 incidents of crime in Chilliwack in 2018, compared to 10,771 in Abbotsford.
Chilliwack’s crime rate is up 3.73 per cent over 2017, which itself was down 6.8 per cent from the peak crime year in recent memory of 2016.
As for the crime severity index (CSI), in B.C. it was 87.67 in 2018 up slightly from 87.27 in 2017. Chilliwack’s CSI was 122.99 up 6.57 per cent from 115.41, but down from 134.03 in 2016.
The violent crime severity index, however, dropped 1.59 per cent in B.C. to 73.42 but in Chilliwack spiked up 25.38 per cent to 106.05 in 2018
A year prior the story was that crime rates had been on the decline for many years, but Chiliwack’s was not shrinking as fast as elsewhere.
As for specific crimes in Chilliwack in 2018, there were three homicides, that of Cody Isaacson, Zach Cross and Stanny Carr. (No one has been arrested in connection with any of those killings.) There were four in 2017 and five in 2016.
There were also three homicides in the first three months of 2019, Christine Denham on Feb. 26, Stanny Carr died on March 6, but was shot on Aug. 8, 2018, and James Vidal on March 10. Of those, only Denham’s alleged killer has been arrested.
Shane Travis Hughes is in custody facing one count of second-degree murder.
To compare, there were six homicides in Abbotsford in 2018 down from nine in 2017. In Surrey, there were 15 homicides in 2018 up from 12 in 2017. Across B.C. 89 people were the victim of homicide last year, down from 119 in 2017.
There were eight firearm offences, which includes discharging and pointing, in Chilliwack in 2018. In Abbotsford there were 11, in Surrey 35, and 198 across B.C., which is down 24 per cent from 2017, and down year over year since 2014.
As property crime, the numbers in Chilliwack are not good. The property crime rate in Chilliwack in 2018 was 6,923.81 per 100,000 population. In Abbotsford that was 5,010.20, in Surrey 4,605.06 and province wide it was 4,770.75.
Other data of interest from across Canada, according to Statistics Canada:
• In 2018, there was a national increase in the rates of drug offences related to methamphetamine (crystal meth), ecstasy and cocaine.
• The national rates for both firearm-related (-8%) and gang-related (-5%) homicides decreased in 2018. This marks the first decrease in firearm-related homicides since 2013 and the first decrease in gang-related homicides since 2014.
• After notable increases in property offences in 2015, followed by relative stability in 2016, the rate of property crime has risen more slowly each of the following two years, including an increase of 2% between 2017 and 2018.