Abbotsford's crime rates are on a downward slide and mirror trends across the province and nation, figures released Tuesday by Statistics Canada show.
The national crime rate in 2011 was at its lowest level in 39 years according to police reported data compiled by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
The Abbotsford/Mission census metropolitan area (CMA) total crime severity index, which tracks the extent of serious offences in the two communities, dropped by 11 per cent from 2010.
The local CMA's violent crime index, for offences including murders and assaults, showed an even bigger drop of 19 per cent.
Crime severity index (CSI) figures are calculated by dividing the sum of the weighted offences by the population.
The Abbotsford/ Mission CSI was 87.9 compared to Kelowna's at 97.4, Vancouver at 94.5 and Victoria at 71.3.
Broken out from Mission, the city of Abbotsford has experienced a 41 per cent drop in its CSI since 2008, said Const. Ian MacDonald.
Abbotsford's solo CSI in 2011 was 78.6, down from 132.9 four years ago , according to Abbotsford Police crime analysis data.
StatsCan CSI numbers for surrounding communities in 2011 show Langley City at 170.5, Surrey at 129.9, Mission at 121.7, Chilliwack at 112.6, Langley Township at 98.1.
"Relative to our neighbours, [Abbotsford's CSI] is not too bad," MacDonald said.
It's believed that the drop in Abbotsford's CSI is largely due to the community's response and stepping up to combat crime, particularly violent crime associated with gangs, he said.
The CSI nationally was down six per cent from last year to 77.6 while the provincial number was down by seven per cent at 95.1.
Federally most offences, such as attempted murder, major assaults, sex assaults, robberies, break-ins and stolen vehicles, are down. However, some crimes have risen, such as homicide at seven per cent, sexual offences against a child at three per cent, child porn at 40 per cent, impaired driving at two per cent and drug offences by three per cent.
Abbotsford's violent crime has plunged in the offences of homicide, aggravated assault, sex assault, said MacDonald.
Gains are being made in terms of property crime, particularly break and enters and against financial institutions, but street style robberies are negatively affecting crime stats as are reported sex assaults.
However, police want sex assault victims to come forward in increasing numbers noted MacDonald.
Out of 239 cities in Canada with a population greater than 10,000, Abbotsford ranked 113th in terms of the violent crime severity index and 95th in terms of the overall CSI.
Mission fared worse, ranking further up the scale at 50th spot for violent crimes and 31st for its overall CSI.