Langford Mayor eager to add more police officers as West Shore population grows


WATCH: The Mayor of Langford is calling its recent daytime shooting part of a spike in crime. And as one of the fastest growing residential areas in all of B.C., the municipality’s outspoken mayor says he has a solution. Kori Sidaway reports.

Apartments, homes, whole city blocks popping up, are all evidence of how fast the West Shore is growing.

And Tuesday’s brazen broad daylight shooting has some worried that the crime rate may be climbing too.

“We don’t feel very safe, to be honest with you,” said Langford local Darnell Pike.

“There’s an increase in population and when there’s an increase of population, you’re going to get an increase in crime,” said resident Norman Logan.

And over the past six weeks, Langford is seeing a crime spike.

In March, West Shore RCMP seized illegal firearms, drugs, and ammunition in a Langford bust. On April 4th, a late-night shooting woke residents in a Langford Duplex. Police say all the incidents are unrelated, but Langford’s Mayor says they’re still concerning.

“This is a family community, we want to make sure public safety is our number one priority,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.

“There’s been a few [incidents] in the last month, I would call it a spike, but I don’t think it’s a trend.”

But according to Stats Canada, from 2013 to 2017, Langford’s violent crime has increased by 9.2 per cent, per capita.

And residents say it’s time for more police officers in the community.

“I definitely don’t think there is enough police,” said Sooke resident Cara Smart.

“Langford’s gotten a lot bigger since I’ve been here and the crime rate has gone up quite a bit,” added local Dave Thorn.

But as the West Shore expands, politicians say they’re equally as committed to growing the police force.

“If crime rate goes up, we’re going to add more officers. That’s our commitment to this community,” said Mayor Young.

In Langford’s 2019 budget, the council is making room for $2 million for 10 new officers over the next 5 years. And when West Shore RCMP’s official 2018 crime report comes out in May, the need for even more officers will be assessed then.

“If we have to change, we’ll change it. We’ll give them what resources they need. We want to make sure everyone here in Langford is protected,” said Mayor Young.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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