EDITORIAL: Crime in Surrey is what it is

In an ideal world, crime would not be a political football. Then again, in an ideal world, there would be no crime.

After Saturday’s "Rally 4 Change," Surrey First mayoral candidate Linda Hepner’s camp fired off a press release urging her political rivals to not make hay over the question of public safety during this civic election campaign.

Public safety, of course, is a political issue. People want to know under whose leadership their streets might be safer and more livable. And all political camps, including the independents, are weighing in.

The fact is, politicizing the issue in unavoidable. Woe to the politician who steps over the line into the realm of the crass.

Nobody likes someone who capitalizes on the misfortune of others. That’s something pretty much everybody can agree upon.

Hepner claims "a lot of people" are "jockeying for position, taking shots at one another, trying to score political points off family tragedies…"

Don’t do it, she says, and her argument has considerable merit. But be it her intention or not, by taking the high road, and therefore appearing righteous in the process, Hepner has political points to score. And this, of course, is engaging in politicization. The message is, Hepner has class, not crass.

Meanwhile, her Kumbaya press release also demonizes the unnamed who would dare try to "score political points" off the misery of others. Not Hepner — others.

Really, criminal law is in the bailiwick of federal and provincial politicians, not mayors and councillors. Civic level politicians may have more clout than regular citizens when it comes to lobbying for legislation to be changed, but that’s about it.

Sadly, Surrey’s next mayor, like Dianne Watts, will no doubt find his or herself fielding calls from reporters after the Corrections Branch releases a dangerous convict into our community. It happened at least twice on Watts watch. In Narinder Wasan’s case, Watts wasn’t even told where the high-risk sex-offender would live in Surrey.

She was baffled why authorities "let him loose" in a city with more children per capita than anywhere else in B.C., and vowed to "take this up" with both federal and provincial justice ministers.

That was back in January. Seven months earlier, Raymond Lee Cassie was released into Surrey.

It’s important to keep in perspective, during this civic election campaign, that the real power for change lies with higher levels of government.

But as for politicization, sadly, that’s a given.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police warn of ‘dangerous’ sex offender, with ‘high risk to re-offend,’ living in Surrey

Howard Geddes-Skelding, 28, was released from BC Corrections Aug. 14, Surrey RCMP say

Now reopened, Surrey McDonald’s closed temporarily after possible COVID-19 exposure

Restaurant chain says employee had been ‘in contact with an individual who tested positive’

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read