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City Watch Hits the Streets of Surrey

April 26, 2011

Surrey – There are now more eyes and ears on the streets of Surrey helping to prevent and reduce crime, thanks to the new City Watch program which officially began today, announced Mayor Dianne Watts.

City Watch is a CUPE-BC program and another innovative initiative within the City’s Crime Reduction Strategy.  Under the program, municipal staff is 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 report their observations to the Surrey RCMP.

“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 regular tasks,” says Mayor Watts.  “I want to thank all the employees who have volunteered to be a part of this program.  I’m proud of their commitment to our community and their efforts will make Surrey an even better place to live and work.”

City Watch is a volunteer program and the training sessions begin today.  Some of the examples employees will be watching for include:

  • Suspicious or violent incidents
  • Suspicious persons going door to door
  • Suspicious people in back yards
  • Open/forced doors or windows
  • Slow moving vehicles cruising a neighbourhood
  • Vehicles without plates
  • Apparently abandoned vehicles
  • Individuals that appear to be lurking around businesses or residences
  • Apparent business transactions conducted from a vehicle, particularly around schools and parks

“I know I speak for all our members when I say how proud we are to have our employer join with us in this program,” said Laurie Larsen, president of CUPE Local 402, which represents Surrey civic workers.  “Surrey civic workers are also Surrey residents and taxpayers, so we have a stake in making our community safer for everyone.  Surrey is now the biggest member of CUPE’s City Watch program, and I know we’re going to be as successful as all the other City Watch communities across BC.”

City Watch is part of the City of Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy, which 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: 

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor

 Laurie Larsen
President, CUPE Local 402