Surrey sounds off on policing plan

Rising costs and provincial downloads are two of the concerns raised by council.

Policing cost and efficiency are two of the main themes going from Surrey council to the provincial government as part of an examination of police services in this province.

In 2011, the province made a commitment to develop a long-term strategic plan for policing, now called the B.C. Policing and Community Safety Plan.

Part of that plan preparation involves engaging communities to unearth the main concerns felt locally.

A Surrey staff report submitted to Surrey council Monday outlined some of the city’s concerns.

Near the top is the escalating cost.

“The cost of local police service delivery has been increasing at a rate roughly double the combined rate of growth and inflation,” Surrey city manager Murray Dinwoodie wrote in the report to council Monday. “In Surrey, approximately 48 per cent of property taxes are directed to funding police services.”

In the coming years, that figure will rise to more than half, an increase that is “clearly not sustainable,” the report said.

Surrey is policed by the RCMP and has the largest detachment in Canada. The city spends about $113 million per year for RCMP services.

Another concern of Surrey’s is police efficiency.

“All businesses, including the business of providing police services, need to be focused on value for money and taking advantage of efficiencies,” Dinwoodie said. “A key business criterion relates to maximizing the benefits/outcomes achieved using available resources or alternatively, achieving outcome targets at a minimum cost.”

Another huge impact on local policing is caused directly by the provincial government, by way of downloading services to municipalities and their police departments.

“With the changes that the province has introduced in the management of mental health services (including addiction), the role of police officers has changed in some areas defaulted to being social workers.

“The current approach taken by the province in the context of addressing mental health and addictions issues is falling short of the needs that are evident in the City of Surrey,” Dinwoodie said in the report.

Adding to police, their challenges include the revolving door of the justice system. Delays result in police officers often having to make several appearances in court, when they could be better used out on the street fighting crime. In addition, offenders released on their own recognizance are often out committing crimes again.

Surrey has long wanted a community court, where people in need of rehabilitation can be sent, instead of to jail or back onto the street.

The province has not yet approved of that court for Surrey.

Surrey also wants to see new technologies brought here to strengthen efficiencies in policing.

And Surrey is pointing out the province needs to recognize the unique policing needs in each different community.

“A ‘one-size fits all’ policing service model will not align with the needs of most communities,” Dinwoodie said in his report. “The plan should be flexible so as to be able to respond to unique community attributes and needs.”

Council voted unanimously to send a copy of the report to the province as the City of Surrey’s input on the draft of the B.C.  Policing and Community Safety Plan.

 

Just Posted

Surrey firefighters not among 267 being sent to battle Alberta wildfires

‘We haven’t been called upon to be deployed,’ Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis told the Now-Leader on Tuesday

Surrey man charged with impersonating cop in Newton

Harmit Johal, 42, is charged with one count of impersonating a peace officer and two counts of fraud

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Mother of accused charged in connection to Surrey teen’s murder

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Bhavkiran Dhesi

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read