SURREY — Surrey Board of Trade is urging the provincial government to work with local officials to combat the recent rash of shootings in Surrey.
The business group says it is renewing its call for governments to work together to “strategically” deal with repeat criminals because the “cost of prolific offenders on the local economy is too high.”
“The Surrey Board of Trade knows that the RCMP is working on specific strategies to counter those that are engaged in these shootings,” said Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade. “To a business organization that is proud of Surrey and its many achievements in economic and social development, and where the Surrey Board of Trade is supporting and attracting business to Surrey, the recent shootings pose a significant challenge to the reputation and progress of our city.”
Huberman adds: “The economic and social development of any community relies upon its reputation as a safe, viable region in which to locate and do business with supporting infrastructure and community assets; however if customers feel unsafe, they won’t frequent businesses in Surrey. If the reputation of a region is suspect, businesses won’t come. If the media targets a community as one in which prolific offenders reside, its economy suffers. The concern is the profligacy of offenders and their return to the same community time and again.”
The SBoT noted in a release that the new NDP government vowed to reduce crime during their election campaign and said that commitment needs to be met.
“Less crime leads to greater economic prosperity as businesses and customers come to a safe, viable community,” said Huberman. “With these recent shootings a reactive effort is necessary; however, an immediate and effective proactive solution is required. We can’t keep having these cycles of shootings in Surrey and the South Fraser Region.”
In 2014, the Surrey Board of Trade asked the then-Liberal provincial government to work with the federal government to “provide adequate budgetary support for offenders to receive treatment while incarcerated and for post-release housing and programming of prolific offenders to ensure successful societal reintegration and safer communities” and to combine provincial and federal resources to ensure the “efficacy of programs such as the Integrated Court Services Plan and the successful implementation of best practice measures.”