When it comes to crime, the media does like to hold Surrey mayors’ feet to the fire.
And more often than not, the mayors have responded to public and media pressure by striking task forces, committees and special committees in an attempt to address the problems of the day.
Following a shocking series of shootings and stabbings in Surrey involving teens – several of the attacks fatal – and huge public outcry against the Young Offenders Act, Mayor Bob Bose in 1993 struck a 10-member "mayor’s advisory committee on youth violence," led by Whalley family physician Dr. John O’Brien Bell. What resulted was a report containing 78 recommendations, among them hiring more police to serve as liaison officers in school, and providing more wholesome recreational opportunities for the city’s youth. The report cost Surrey ratepayers $26,000, with $13,000 of that in consultant’s fees.
Bose’s successor, Doug McCallum, launched a campaign to crack down on drug houses in North Surrey during his watch as mayor, and in 2003 had a two-block strip of Whalley’s notorious 135A Street barricaded for several months in an attempt to curb prostitution and drug dealing there.
During her time as Surrey’s mayor, Dianne Watts had street lights and surveillance cameras set up along a stretch of Surrey’s rural Colebrook Road after several homicide victims’ bodies were found there, earning the road the unfortunate moniker of "Killbrook."
Watts also launched Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy during her term in office.