Dianne Watts

Task force comes down on drug homes

Group met on Tuesday to discuss how to reduce the number of homicides occurring in this city.

If you’re associated with a drug house in this city, expect frequent visits from the RCMP and bylaw officers.

A mayor’s task force, made up of RCMP, crime analysts, a criminologist, bylaw officers, fire officials, city engineers and school district representatives met for the first time on Tuesday night.

The task force – created by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts to reduce the homicide rate in the city will be asking police to focus on known drug houses.

Watts said the two-hour meeting set out the approach as the city attempts to figure out why Surrey is facing a record number of homicides this year.

There have been 23 murders this year, compared to 21 in 2005, which was the previous record.

By comparison, Vancouver has recorded five murders so far in 2013.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” Watts told The Leader Wednesday.

Cracking down on drug houses may not have an immediate effect on the homicide rate, Watts said, but something has to be done to interrupt the high-risk activities that can lead to murder.

“The bottom line is we need to interrupt the activities of people that are involved in criminal activity,” Watts said.

As to whether the new focused enforcement will require a new team on the RCMP, Watts couldn’t say for sure.

“That may be a result in that,” Watts said. “We are putting together the strategy and we will be implementing it immediately, within the next week or so,” she said.

For the people who frequent drug houses and who want help with their addictions, Watts said are resources in Surrey that can offer assistance.

“I would suggest the ones selling the drugs are not the ones that want the help,” Watts said, adding a loud and clear message will be sent to people involved in crime.

“I do not want for one moment for any of these people involved in criminal activity to think that we are complacent and that it’s okay to do business in this city,” Watts said. “Because frankly, it’s not.

The task force meets again next week.

@diakiw

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

Missing North Delta senior found deceased

88-year-old Jarnial Sanghera had been missing since the morning of Friday, May 15

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Dry-grad cancelled, Elgin Park students make donation to food bank

Students donate $1,800 to food bank after being forced to cancel graduation event

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read