Two upcoming business breakfast meetings will highlight Surrey’s efforts to combat crime.
The Surrey Board of Trade is hosting the events, which will examine the approaches and outcomes of Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy.
Mayor Dianne Watts unveiled the city’s Crime Reduction Strategy (CRS) in Feb. 26, 2007 amid huge fanfare at the Surrey RCMP’s main detachment. All levels of government were heavily represented, and each took time to expound on the value and virtues of the 100-point plan.
“We can no longer deal with the symptoms of crime, we have to deal with the root causes of crime,” B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal said at the 2007 unveiling. “We simply can’t do business the way we have been doing business for the past 35 years.”
City officials agreed, and since then, police, bylaws, school officials and a multitude of municipal staff began working on the hefty initiative.
Several portions of the CRS have already been launched, including a Prolific Offender Management Team (which works to convict repeat offenders); mentoring programs involving the city and board of education; Community Safety Officers (to add police presence); graffiti mitigation; and close circuit television (CCTV) to be installed next month for a year-long pilot project.
Another feature of the CRS is a sobering centre, where drunks and addicts can be brought to detoxify. Until recently, people causing a drunken disturbance are either brought to jail or the hospital.
However, provincial commitment for a long-sought-after community court is more tepid.
In 2006, Surrey officials travelled to New York to examine the different models of community courts, which offer the accused an opportunity to get clean and sober in order to avoid jail time.
While one of the courts has been up and running in Vancouver for some time, Surrey has yet to get one of its own.
The SBOT will be hosting Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy and Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode at the two free events to examine how the strategy is working.
The first will be on Sept. 24 from 7:45 to 10 a.m. at the Newton Cultural Centre (13530 72 Ave.).
The next will be held on Oct. 22, from 7:45 to 10 a.m. at Atlas Logistics (2755 190 St.)
Business leaders are encouraged to come prepared with questions or issues to discuss. A light breakfast will be provided.
To register, go to www.businessinsurrey.com – Events Section or call the Surrey Board of Trade at 604-581-7130.