Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says the City of Surrey experiences spikes in murders every four years

Mayor Dianne Watts strikes task force to tackle Surrey’s homicide rate

Criminologists, educators and police will 'drill down' into the causes of murder in Surrey.

Surrey’s mayor is striking a special task force to examine drug houses and the effect of mental illness on policing after this city’s murder rate hit 22 this week – an all-time high.

On Monday morning, police found a body of a man in front of a home near 99 Avenue and 120 Street.

Police say the home is known to them, being partly related to drug activity. The man who was killed was not a resident of the home.

The homicide brings to 22 the number of murders in Surrey this year, the highest on record.

In response, Mayor Dianne Watts is creating a task force of police, Surrey School District educators and criminologists to examine what is occurring and come up with possible remedies.

Watts notes the city is going through spikes in murders every four years.

“It’s not a coincidence, something is occurring,” Watts said Monday. “We just want to drill down and see what’s behind it. Is it (soft) jail sentences? We don’t know.”

The task force will analyze four-year cycles of crime.

In addition, the city will be identifying any known drug houses in Surrey and conduct an analysis of police and city bylaw department resources.

“We’re finding a lot of police officers are spending time off of the street,” Watts said, such as when they are dealing with mental health calls.

As to how the city or police would stop a murder, Watts said therein lies the problem.

“Well you can’t, and that’s the problem,” she said. “What we can do is make sure that whatever’s around it, that we’re doing everything we possibly can.”

That could involve more school-based prevention programs aimed at deterring youth from choosing a high-risk gang-related lifestyle, she said this week.

On Tuesday, Watts sent out a joint release with Surrey’s top cop, RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, who addressed criminals directly in his statement.

“I must advise people who associate with those in a criminal lifestyle that your enabling behaviour could lead to tragic consequences,” Fordy said in the statement. “For those who choose to engage in criminal behaviour, we want you to know that you are not welcome in Surrey and that if you choose to embrace the criminal lifestyle, you will end up dead or in jail.”

Out of the 36 files (some that include multiple homicides) the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is handling this year, 21 of them are in Surrey, representing 58 per cent of IHIT’s total caseload in the region.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

All Safe Surrey Coalition council members must ‘step up’ over ‘bad taste’ tweets, rivals say

Slate’s posts on social media in ‘bad taste,’ councillor says

After 40 years on the job, White Rock’s fire chief retires

From flood to fire, Phil Lemire has been at the forefront whenever disaster struck

Surrey sports groups grapple with refunds, registration, restrictions and more

‘Our biggest problem is going to be retraining the public because they can’t be there’

Low-cost bicycle repair shop opens in Cloverdale

Cloverdale Community Cycles starts up in church parking lot

First degree murder charge laid in South Surrey shooting death

Wayne Duncan, 46, was killed on Sept. 6, 2019

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Most Read