Joint policing effort works in Surrey, but Langley City crime results stay high

Langley and Surrey RCMP have been working together in a high crime area, with success in Surrey but little change in Langley City.

A two-month long shared policing project dubbed LASTT (Langley and Surrey Target Team) has reduced crime in one area of western Langley and eastern Surrey by 30 per cent, said RCMP from the two detachments.

As part of Langley RCMP’s crime reduction plan, efforts are constantly made to study crime trends and develop strategies to reduce it, said police spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks.

With that in mind, it became quickly apparent that an area stretching geographically from 176 Street to 204 Street, from Cloverdale and Langley City all the way north to Willoughby, Port Kells and Clayton Heights, was experiencing high amounts of crime.

In fact, stats were saying 72 crimes per week were happening just in this area alone. And those were the crimes being reported.

At the beginning of May, a team of 19 officers were pulled together — two uniformed teams and one surveillance, working both day and night shifts. These included members of Surrey and Langley RCMP.

The tactics used included covert and overt monitoring, identifying problem houses where offenders lived, highly visible patrols, aggressive street and curfew checks and face to face visits with business owners inside the target area, said police.

Over the course of the last two months, property crime rates within the target area dropped from an average of 72 per week to an average of 50 per week, representing a 30 per cent reduction.

The reductions were most obvious in the area north of 72 Avenue, while the Langley City core south of the Langley Bypass remained static or increased slightly, said police.

Langley’s efforts will continue through the summer months, particularly in the Langley City core area where crime seems to be persisting at the same level, said Marks.

Statistics Canada’s recent crime rate report shows that Langley City’s crime rate is almost twice the B.C. average.