A group of volunteers with the Surrey Crime Prevention Society wearing their distinctive green jackets. To get involved

SURREY IN FOCUS: Volunteers the backbone of community safety

‘When you’re engaged in something, you don’t go onto other (negative) things,’ says a member of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society .

The Surrey Crime Prevention Society (SCPS) is a volunteer organization made up of a number of different community-safety focused programs.

Informally started in 1981, the SCPS was incorporated as a registered non-profit society in 1984.

The society is governed by an elected board of directors.

Funding for the society comes from government grants and corporate partnerships, as well as business and individual tax-deductible donations.

Karen Reid Sidhu took over as executive director for the SCPS three years ago.

In her role, she re-branded the society to fit with their community safety-focused programs rather than crime prevention.

Reid Sidhu said the society works with the fire department, bylaw officers, business improvement associations, the Surrey School District, transit police, the Surrey RCMP and other non-profit organizations.

Some of the society’s programs include the Citizens Community Safety Watch program, Community Safety Tours, and the Community Safety Youth Leadership and Mentorship program.

The Community Safety Youth Leadership and Mentorship program is a remarkable initiative, according to Reid Sidhu.

“We give at-risk youth an opportunity to put our jackets on and participate in our programs and nobody knows that they are youth at-risk. They get to interact in a positive way and give back, and learn the importance of being around people who make positive choices.”

SCPS currently has 295 volunteers with 65 more applications waiting to be reviewed, according to Reid Sidhu.

She said about 80 per cent of the volunteers come from all walks of life and ethnicities.

“The fact that we have been able to reach so many individuals from so many diverse, multicultural backgrounds in pretty significant and it reflects the community that we live in.”

Sunny Gill, 21, has been a volunteer with the society since June 2012.

Gill originally checked out SCPS because of his interest in policing and he thought it would be a “good resume builder,” but he realized volunteering could also be a great experience.

“What I do can actually change peoples’ lives, even if it’s just calling something in and helping someone out when others would not do the same.”

Manpreet Athwal, 22, said the SCPS helps out the RCMP.

“The RCMP can’t really do (everything) by themselves if people don’t report, “ Athwal said. “People in our society don’t report crime that we see. Either we don’t have time or we just choose not to.”

Athwal, who has been volunteering with the SCPS since October 2014, thinks more students should look into volunteering.

“When you’re engaged in something, you don’t go onto other (negative) things,” she said. “You’re focused and you’re busy all the time and you have to make the right choices.”

Gill also encourages people to volunteer.

“With all the recent concerns for crime and stuff, I would encourage youth, and not just youth but everybody, just to get out and actually be in the community and see what’s going on and see how they can help,” he said. “Rather than just hearing about it on the news… and not acting on it.”

For more information on how to volunteer with the SCPS, call 604-502-8555.


Just Posted

Surrey Mounties investigate drive-by shooting in Fleetwood

It happened in the 8000-block of 153A Street. No victim has been located.

18-year-old to hospital after shots fired in White Rock

Police investigating early-morning incident

White Rock RCMP unaffected by Surrey’s choice of police force, city says

Mayor Darryl Walker to meet with RCMP Staff Sgt. Daryl Creighton

Surrey firefighters tackle blaze at Guildford home

Firefighters have yet to determine what caused the vacant house fire

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

Touching note left on Lower Mainland veteran’s windshield

A veteran is hoping the writers of a note know how much he was touched by their kind words.

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

‘Weird Al’ brings Strings Attached tour to Lower Mainland next summer

Legendary musical satirist performs with full symphony orchestra

Most Read