How Safe Are Surrey Communities? A Closer Look at Crime Rates and Safety

A neighborhood watch sign in Surrey, symbolizing the strong community involvement in maintaining a safe and secure living environment.

When considering relocating to Surrey, BC, many individuals may have concerns about the communities’ safety.

When discussing available homes in Surrey with individuals relocating from other areas in the lower mainland, they often react negatively.

It seems that upon hearing the name “Surrey”, they become apprehensive due to negative associations they may have heard about the city.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive examination of the safety of living in Surrey.  We will compare crime rates, explore the types of crimes, and identify the safest communities within the city.

Surrey

Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia and the 11th largest in Canada by population. This city offers a diverse range of neighbourhoods.

These include:

With a population of approximately 570,000, Surrey boasts a central location in the Lower Mainland. This makes it a desirable place to live and invest in real estate.

Additionally, Surrey is known for its ethically diverse population. In the city, 52% of residents do not speak English as their first language, and approximately 38% have South Asian heritage.

Crime Rates in Surrey: Statistics and Comparison

To assess the safety of Surrey, let’s begin by examining the crime rates in the city.

The Surrey RCMP released its first quarter 2023 crime statistics report.  This report indicated a decrease in violent and property crimes compared to the previous year.

Violent crime was down by 14% in the first quarter of 2023, with decreases in property crime across all districts in Surrey.

Specific types of crimes reported include:

  • Offensive weapons
  • Assaults
  • Attempted murders and homicides
  • Forcible confinement or kidnapping cases

Now let’s compare Surrey’s crime rates with other municipalities in Canada. According to the Global Crime Index, Surrey ranks 15th in North America.

However, when it comes to the safety index, Surrey is ranked 74th in North America and 36th in Canada.

Notably, Surrey falls behind several major British Columbia municipalities. It also falls behind many other Canadian cities in terms of safety.

When evaluating these rankings, it is crucial to take into account the context of Surrey’s sizable population. It’s also important to consider its status as the 11th-largest municipality in Canada.

Emergency Services and Policing in Surrey

A police officer patrolling a peaceful neighborhood in Surrey, highlighting the city's dedication to maintaining a safe environment.

In emergencies, it is crucial to understand the efficiency of emergency services in Surrey.

Surrey RCMP

  • The Surrey RCMP’s average response time to incidents in 2021 was 7 minutes and 38 seconds, higher than the previous year.
  • As Canada’s largest RCMP detachment, Surrey received over 195,000 calls in 2021, with various reports and dispatches.
  • The numbers reveal the workload and pressure placed on the Surrey police force as they strive to ensure safety and security.

Surrey Police Service

  • The city had planned to replace the RCMP with the Surrey Police Service. But, the process has faced challenges and uncertainties.
  • The transition has been the subject of debate and discussion among residents.
  • This debate garnered opinions on the merits of maintaining the RCMP or establishing an independent police force.

As of now, the future of policing in Surrey remains undecided. Still, the RCMP and Surrey Police are committed to enhancing public safety through their ongoing operations.

Safest Communities in Surrey: Identifying Low-Crime Areas

To provide a more nuanced perspective, let’s explore the safest communities within Surrey.

High Crime Rates

  • Newton, Guildford, and City Centre have higher crime rates than other areas.
  • These neighbourhoods are characterized by more commercial activity and diverse populations. As such, these communities often experience slightly higher crime rates.
  • However, it is important to note that efforts are being made to improve safety in these areas through various initiatives.

Low Crime Rates

  • South Surrey, Fraser Heights, and Fleetwood are identified as safer neighbourhoods with lower crime rates. These areas are known for their residential nature and higher property values.
  • They exhibit lower crime rates and are considered desirable places for those seeking a safer environment.

Examining the Specific Crime Trends

  • Cloverdale saw a 31% decrease in violent crimes year over year.
  • This is followed by Guildford and Fleetwood at 17%. Whalley saw a 14% drop, Newton had an 11% decrease, and South Surrey reported an 8% decrease.
  • Regarding property crimes, South Surrey experienced the most significant drop at 26%, followed by Whalley at 20%.
  • Newton reported an 18% decrease; Cloverdale had a 7% decrease. Guildford and Fleetwood saw a 3% drop. These positive trends indicate the city’s efforts to improve safety for its residents.

Enhancing Safety: Strategies and Community Involvement

A group of teens playing in a park in Surrey, reflecting the community's reputation for safety and providing a secure environment for families.

Surrey has established four pillars for public safety. These pillars serve as the foundation for ensuring a secure community for its residents:

Preventing and Reducing Crime

Surrey aims to prevent and reduce crime. They aim to do this through effective enforcement, timely response, and collaboration.

Ensuring Safe Places

This emphasizes design considerations for using the following:

  • Transit sites
  • Roadways
  • Commercial areas
  • Residential neighbourhoods
  • Public spaces
  • Parks

The goal is to optimize their effectiveness and functionality, enhancing their value for the community.

Additionally, place-based crime prevention initiatives are employed to create a secure and welcoming environment throughout Surrey.

Building Community Capacity

Surrey invests in early intervention and education programs for children and youth.

This ensures individuals and neighbourhoods are prepared for emergencies.  It also ensures they have the skills to contribute to a safe community.

Supporting Vulnerable People

Surrey addresses the underlying causes of vulnerability. This includes mental health issues and substance use.

This helps vulnerable individuals make positive changes and become better-contributing community members.

The Surrey Police Service builds authentic and trusting relationships with the public. Their strategic plan focuses on:

  • Organizational development
  • Employee development and wellness
  • Community policing Model development

They also pay attention to the well-being of their employees and establish a policing model that is responsive to the needs of the local area.

This model actively involves the community, especially young people and Indigenous communities, in making decisions and carrying out law enforcement activities.

To Sum It Up

Surrey is a generally safe place to live, despite occasional negative perceptions. While certain areas experience higher crime rates, the overall crime trends in Surrey are improving.

By understanding the initiatives in place, individuals can create a safe community. The involvement of both the city and its residents is crucial in maintaining a secure and inclusive living environment in Surrey.

Move to Surrey

A family enjoying their new home in Surrey.

Looking to relocate to Surrey or seeking more information about the real estate market in the area? The Germyn Group is here to assist you!

Our team is dedicated to providing you with personalized service and guiding you through the entire process. We understand the importance of finding a safe and secure community that suits your needs.

Contact the Germyn Group today to schedule a consultation!

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