Surrey’s ‘High Risk Location’ initiative giving bad guys a hard time

SURREY — Local police, firefighters and bylaws enforcers have tallied up some successful crime-fighting results over the past few years.

The Surrey RCMP, firefighters and city bylaws officers have busted down clandestine drug labs, crack shacks, marijuana grow operations and unregulated recovery houses under the High Risk Location Initiative that began in November 2013, as part of the mayor’s task force aimed at reducing homicides in Surrey.

“The task force was struck and focused on locations where those living high-risk lifestyles come together and create an increased risk to public safety and potentially violent crime,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said.

So far in 2015 there have been 72 arrests with 65 criminal charges recommended to the Crown. Forty-one “high-risk” locations were investigated, 52 unregulated recovery homes were investigated and three properties were either torn down, or ordered to be torn down.

In 2013 Surrey firefighters responded to 78 incidents at one apartment complex that had fire safety problems and escalating calls for service involving fires and drug-related medical crises.

“After being identified through the HRL, work was done by all three partners that reduced the calls for service from that complex,” Schumann said. “Only 21 incidents have been recorded for the complex in 2015.”

In 2014 Surrey bylaws enforcement department tackled illegal rooming houses and other “problem premises,” with the result that 258 residences were either boarded up or demolished.

This March, Surrey Mounties with search warrants raided a trailer park where police alleged drug trafficking was going on.

“All residences had a Do Not Occupy order places on them under city bylaws,” Schumann noted.

A joint effort by Transit Police and the Surrey RCMP to improve public safety at the Surrey Central transit corridor has also enjoyed some success since its inception since January, when Surrey RCMP Const. Carl Garlinski and Transit Police Const. Ryan Camping began walking the beat there.

Since January they have made more than 100 arrests and issued more than 80 tickets, 50 fare infraction tickets and made over 40 drug seizures and a dozen weapons seizures.

“They have also helped locate 20 missing youths and made over 200 contacts with local businesses,” Schumann said.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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