Diwali outdid Halloween this year in the number of fireworks-related complaints made to the Surrey RCMP.
Diwali is a festival of light observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists. It was celebrated on Sunday with blasting fireworks that resulted in the Surrey RCMP receiving 147 complaints.
These, Corporal Elenore Sturko confirmed, were “because of Diwali.”
Halloween, in comparison, drew 121 fireworks-related complaints on Thursday.
A busy Halloween night for first responders. Police responded to 359 calls for service, 121 fireworks related calls. pic.twitter.com/uaRdxkC6iA
— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) November 1, 2019
A busy night for fireworks last night! We had 147 calls and officers were dispatched to the majority by 11pm. While we do our best to respond, our priority has to be on calls where there is a significant risk to persons/property. Thank you for your patience!
— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) October 28, 2019
Constable Richard Wright said the tallies were “over the course of the day” in both cases. “The bulk of it would be in the evening, because that’s when fireworks are set off. I don’t think there was a specific time constraint put on that stat. It would be during the evening of.”
During Halloween police dispatchers received 359 calls for service during the nightshift. “That’s just nightshift, just Halloween night,” Sturko said.
On a typical evening, the Surrey RCMP takes in roughly 125 to 260 calls, “depending on the day of the week.”
Meantime, the Now-Leader received a barrage of complaints about fireworks this week. This one came in, by way of email, from “Brent,” at 10:40 p.m. on Halloween:
“I have never contacted a newspaper before but I have a feeling there are many people living in Surrey that have my sentiments,” he wrote. “For two weeks this time every year for at least the last 10 years it has been a war zone around here and getting worse every year. It is actually scary I feel like diving for over as my pets hide with the bombs that explode in this neighbourhood. I see no dazzling display of actual fireworks just constant detonation of bombs. This is no celebration this is not fun! Who enjoys this? Are fireworks not illegal!!! I was in Burnaby then Coquitlam and New West tonight and saw and heard some entertaining firework displays. Then I get back to a war zone. There is something drastically wrong with this.”
Someone identified as Gord Sholz wrote: “Crime is up-shootings are up but this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as they can’t even stop the illegal fireworks.”