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Surrey Launches Unique Community Safety Program

January 11, 2011

Surrey – As part of its Crime Reduction Strategy, Surrey is launching City Watch, a CUPE-BC program designed to encourage City employees to play a role in preventing and reducing crime in the community.

Under the program, municipal staff are trained to recognize and report suspicious activity they may witness while carrying out the normal duties of their jobs. Employees do not become directly involved with apprehending offenders, but rather are an extra set of “eyes and ears” around the community, reporting their observations to the Surrey RCMP.

“The City of Surrey is taking a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to increasing safety throughout our communities and we are always looking to implement innovative ways to reduce crime,” says Mayor Dianne Watts.

“Our employees are in a unique position to provide this valuable community service because they are working outside in neighbourhoods across the city when most people are away from their homes. City Watch allows them to keep a watchful eye while doing their work and is another practical tool within our Crime Reduction Strategy.”

City Watch is a voluntary program and a partnership between the City of Surrey, CUPE Local 402 and the RCMP. The police will be providing the necessary training for employees to learn about what constitutes suspicious activity, the importance of reporting such activity, when and how to make reports, the details that should be recorded, and the steps that should be taken to follow-up on the matter. This training will help employees better understand their role in the program and the positive impact that they can have on crime prevention and community safety.

Council voted in favour of the new program at last night’s Council meeting, and it is expected to be operational by the spring of 2011.

Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy contains 106 recommendations focused on the following four primary objectives:

  • Reduce crime and increase community safety;
  • Increase public involvement in reducing crime ;
  • Increase integration between all stakeholders involved in crime reduction; and
  • Improve public awareness around the reality and perception of crime.

For more information on Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy, please visit: http://www.surrey.ca/plans-strategies/3669.aspx#Crime%20Reduction%20Strategy%201

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604.375.4584