Local news was all over the story when Surrey was announced as the “Car Theft Capital of North America” a few years back. If anything bad happens in Surrey you know it’s going to make the cover of The Province. It’s really lovely to get the attention and although it’s negative 90% of the time, Surreyites have come to expect this from those who just don’t know any better about the City of Parks (and Canada’s 2008 Cultural Capital City).
The good news here is that the GVRD’s little scapegoat has managed to shake its bad wrap when it comes to auto-crime.
Auto theft has dropped by 35 per cent across the province and 43 per cent across Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley…
…Surrey, which police five years ago dubbed the “auto theft capital of North America,” has had the biggest drop. At the peak in 2003, 5,500 vehicles were stolen there. Last year, that number dropped 47 per cent to 2,900. [The Province]
To top it off, it’s becoming a shining example for the rest of North America, with accolades galore.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has honoured [Surrey's] auto and property crime target teams with its 2007 Vehicle Theft Award of Merit for outstanding success during 2006…
…Created in 2004, the teams cut auto theft by 31 per cent that year and saw significant reductions in burglaries, too. In 2006, the year for which they received the award, auto theft in Surrey was down 22 per cent compared to 2005 and the strong downward trend continues this year. [The Now]
The IACP is the worldâ€™s oldest and largest non-profit membership organization of police executives, with more than 20,000 members from 89 countries [The Leader]
All communities in the Lower Mainland reduced their car theft rates, and in BC those numbers have been reduced from 26,000 a year to 17,000 – thanks to the Bait Car program. Of course there are larger issues in Surrey, but they are rarely reported on since I suppose they lack the glitz and glamour of a good old fashioned car chase.
Overall, the drop in auto-crime is good news if you own a car, except if it’s a Nissan and you live in Vancouver, Burnaby or Richmond [CBC].