01/31/2015 07:19 EST | Updated 04/02/2015 05:59 EDT

Surrey sees more violent crime, fewer homicides as new statistics released

SURREY, B.C. - New statistics show that violent crime rose overall in Surrey, B.C., last year — but the number of murders went down by more than 30 per cent.

Surrey RCMP released its fourth-quarter crime statistics this week, revealing that violent crime rose by 7 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year.

Violent crimes include murders, sexual assaults and robberies, and there were 52 per cent more of such crimes in last year's fourth quarter compared to the same quarter in 2013.

But the Vancouver-area city — where reducing crime became a major focus of last fall's municipal election — saw 17 homicides in 2014, compared to 25 in 2013.

Mounties say they continue to target dangerous locations to help reduce homicides, and the majority of murders were domestic-related or involving those in high-risk lifestyles.

Property crime rose 22 per cent in Surrey last year, an increase that RCMP say is occurring across the Lower Mainland and is largely driven by motor vehicle crimes.