Surrey RCMP has identified 18 cases since April as part of a joint initiative to deal with “distressed” properties in the city.
The idea is to improve public safety and social concerns in Surrey’s neighbourhoods. Since then, Sergeant Chad Greig said, authorities have “worked closely” with the owners to educate them on their responsibilities and reduce calls for service in surrounding areas.
The Surrey RCMP’s community response unit (CRU) and criminal analysis section has been working with the Surrey bylaws community enforcement team, Surrey fire department’s community property safety team, and the B.C. bailiff services to this end.
“Working with our municipal and provincial partners to address distressed properties in our community is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and collaboration amongst all parties involved,” said Inspector Wendy Mehat, community support and safety officer for the Surrey RCMP.
“Property owners have a responsibility to ensure they clearly understand our city’s rules and regulations and law enforcement has a responsibility to ensure there are consequences if these are not properly followed,” Mehat said. “Together, we can address these public safety and social issues head-on and for the betterment of the wider community at large.”
Greig said a Property Owner/Problem Eviction Process package provides “pertinent information” to help owners “better understand their roles, rights and obligations.
“This empowers property owners to take greater ownership and effectively manage their properties before they become a community, policing or bylaw problem,” he said. “This package also serves as a baseline notification for uncooperative property owners which will enable expedited bylaw enforcement and financial sanctions in order to more effectively mitigate the negative impacts of problem properties on our community.”
Police ask anyone who sees suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.