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City of Surrey to Increase Number of RCMP Officers

Mayor Watts and Task Force members

April 23, 2014

Surrey, BC – At today’s Police Committee meeting, several recommendations came forward as a result of the update on the Mayor’s Task Force and the police service review which was initiated last October. Of particular note, Mayor Dianne Watts and Council have endorsed a proposal to add 95 RCMP officers to the Surrey Detachment over the next five years.

“This pledge to increase the number of RCMP officers in Surrey is a continuation of the work we started in October of 2013 to disrupt criminal activity in our city. The additional officers have been realized through efficiencies within the RCMP as a result of the review process,” says Mayor Watts. “Public safety remains my top priority and the actions we have taken today show that council and I will continue our policy to confront and disrupt criminal activity in Surrey.”

The Community Safety Officer program is also evolving to allow for expanded authority by changing the role to Community Constable. The new designation will enhance policing in the city by giving the Community Constables the power to arrest and carry a firearm.

In addition to the increase in RCMP officers, 20 Community Safety Patrol personnel, of which 10 will start work immediately within the Newton Town Centre, will be deployed in the community. The uniformed foot patrols will be staffed by BC Commissionaires. They will be a highly visible presence and will work closely with RCMP in sharing of intelligence.

Aside from the increase in RCMP officers, Community Constables and Community Safety Patrol, the City of Surrey will also move from reporting its crime statistics on a quarterly basis to a monthly basis. The data is freely open to everyone.

Here are the highlights of enforcement results in the first 90 days since the creation of the Mayor’s Task Force.

• 250 arrests made
• 86 charges recommended
• Significant drugs seized
• Weapon seizures
• $100,668 Canadian currency seized

The Uniform Gang Enforcement Unit

• 38 arrests made
• 11 charges recommended
• 7 weapons seized
• 159 street checks
• 182 vehicle stops

“My goal in reducing crime in Surrey is to not pursue quick fixes but to effect a long term and permanent change by tackling the root causes of crime. As part of our Crime Reduction strategy, I will continue to advocate for our city for additional dollars from the federal and provincial governments for addiction and mental health services,” says Mayor Watts. “The steps we have taken today will ensure that the Surrey RCMP and the City of Surrey will have the continued resources to be proactive in reducing crime and increasing public safety within our communities.”

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For City inquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor, City of Surrey
604.375.4584

For Surrey RCMP inquiries:
Cpl. Bert Paquet
Media Relations Officer
Surrey RCMP Media Relations Unit
604-599-7776
surrey_media_relations@rcmp-grc.gc.ca